Nintendo, MIcrosoft Flunk Greenpeace Ranking

Nintendo, MIcrosoft Flunk Greenpeace Ranking

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Nintendo has set a new record by becoming the first company on Greenpeace's quarterly Guide to Greener Electronics to score an absolute zero.

Unfortunately for the company, this isn't golf and the zero score represents an unprecedented level of poor performance. The Greener Electronics Guide ranks companies on two criteria: The amount of toxic chemicals and substances used by companies in the production of their productions, and "takeback" and recycling policies of companies once their products become obsolete. The most recent edition of the Guide marks the first time television and console manufacturers have been included in the rankings, which rated the companies on a scale of 0-10.

"Nintendo joins the Guide in bottom place," the Guide's ranking said. "The company scores zero on all criteria, allowing infinite room for future improvement." Greenpeace claims the company has no policies in place regarding banned or restricted chemicals management, timelines for PVC and BFR phaseout, voluntary takeback programs and many other areas of environmental concern.

Microsoft did little better in the rankings, placing third from the bottom in its debut on list with a score of 2.7/10. "Microsoft comes in at number 16 (out of 18). The company scores points for its chemical management and for setting a timeline by which it intends to eliminate vinyl plastic (PVC) and all BFRs, but only by 2011," according to Greenpeace. "Microsoft scores poorly on most waste criteria, but is reporting on amounts of e-waste recycled, albeit only for Europe."

Sony, the third combatant in the console wars, fared considerably better, placing near the top of the list with a score of 7.3/10. The Guide reports, "The company receives a good score for providing many examples of products that are free from PVC plastic, including models of the VAIO notebook, Walkman, camcorders and digital cameras. Sony has commitments to phase out PVC and BFRs by 2010. Sony's takeback and recycling program has good coverage, particularly in the U.S., and the company provides clear information to its customers about what to do with discarded products." However, Sony's ranking is an aggregate of all its hardware products, and its PlayStation consoles are not actually mentioned in the Guide.

Greenpeace's Guide to Greener Electronics, released quarterly, was first published in August of 2006 and includes the top 18 manufacturers of personal computers, mobile phones, televisions and game consoles. The full Guide as well as a complete breakdown of ranking criteria and other information is available at www.greenpeace.org.

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Unfortunately Greenpeace's technique is a bit flawed. They only use the information available at the corporate website when determining a company's score. While this is valid for some tests (if a company doesn't have public access to a return/recycle policy it might as well not exist), it doesn't work for other tests (such as the time line for PVC phaseout).

Perhaps next time they could try doing some interviews?

I would like to challenge the real world application of this information. I have a very hard time beliving that electronics are a major source of pollution in this world when compared to such things as powerplants, heavy industrial manufacturing, farming or just about any other major sub-section of the economy. This sounds like standard anti-capitalistic propaganda from people who woulden't know their ass from their elbow when it comes to the details of hightech manufacturing, and would like to score points with other people who know just as little as they do.

Yeah, the thing is... if a company doesn't publish the information that they used to determine this, then they were given a 0 in that category. It's blatant sensationalism, and that's all.

MrCIA:
I would like to challenge the real world application of this information. I have a very hard time beliving that electronics are a major source of pollution in this world when compared to such things as powerplants, heavy industrial manufacturing, farming or just about any other major sub-section of the economy. This sounds like standard anti-capitalistic propaganda from people who woulden't know their ass from their elbow when it comes to the details of hightech manufacturing, and would like to score points with other people who know just as little as they do.

That waste goes somewhere. Vice went there too. It's really hard to break down electronics...

http://www.viceland.com/int/v14n9/htdocs/ctrl.php?country=au

Jakeb Smith:
That waste goes somewhere. Vice went there too. It's really hard to break down electronics...

http://www.viceland.com/int/v14n9/htdocs/ctrl.php?country=au

I'm so cynical I had a thousand horrible slogans going through my head when watching these pictures.
It's disgusting (the slogans).

oh no! Nintendo Wii destroyed the ozone!

Watching those pictures have absolutely no effect on me because in my hometown there is a major electronics recycling center that makes boat loads of money from discarded electronics. Anyone else want to try to convince me I am wrong?

According to the EPA, cellphones in the U.S. are discarded at a rate of roughly 130 million per year, generating roughly 250,000 tons of toxic material annually. The agency also estimates that less than two percent of cellphones are properly recycled. These are significant numbers.

Greenpeace's methodology is far from flawless, and is obviously intended to be sensationalist in order to attract attention from both the public and major corporations. They're not holding game consoles responsible for the ecological destruction of the planet; the point is that every corporation needs to do its part in ensuring these devices are properly disposed of.

MrCIA:
Watching those pictures have absolutely no effect on me because in my hometown there is a major electronics recycling center that makes boat loads of money from discarded electronics. Anyone else want to try to convince me I am wrong?

The point is, copious amounts of toxic materials are manufactured every year and they aren't recycled. Even if they are, they cannot be recycled cheaply. The process takes a great deal of energy. That used to be a reasonable proposition when oil was spilling out of the ground, despite the obvious CO2 emissions, but the days of cheap energy have passed. It's not going to be economically viable to recycle toxic plastics in the future, unless we find green energy solutions. And half of the the green energy clause is using less energy in the first place.

It's not a matter of not being able to fix the problem, it's that there are few economic incentives to do so. The cost of fixing our mistakes is enough to send most economies into recession. From what I've been hearing, the US already is in recession. More waste is the last thing we need to deal with.

I wish they included other factors in their metric. I've always been impressed with Nintendo packaging for example. My Wii came in a box with minimal plastic bagging, no styrofoam, and no glue anywhere on the box assembly.

Ironmaus:
I wish they included other factors in their metric. I've always been impressed with Nintendo packaging for example. My Wii came in a box with minimal plastic bagging, no styrofoam, and no glue anywhere on the box assembly.

Or the Wii's electricity usage, which is I believe is 15-17 watts, depending on who's information you use. And that is during gameplay. Compare that to the Xbox 360 (over 160) and PS3 (almost 200...). In fact, 17 would make it more energy-efficient than even the Sega Dreamcast. Not sure about it's standby mode, but according Satoru Iwata, is "about the same as a miniature light bulb".

It may also be a bit much to lump Nintendo along with massive consumer electronics giants like Phillips, HP and Sony who'd have a natural advantage of infrastructure to create big recycling schemes.

 

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