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Greenpeace renews attack on Apple's eco-policies

19 Nov 2012

A new Greenpeace study has found that Indian outsourcing firm Wipro has made the biggest strides to becoming a greener company this year, while Apple continues to lag behind.

Greenpeace's "Guide to Greener Electronics" is a 16 company ranking which sets out to discover what leading electronics firms are doing to reduce their impact on the environment.

This year's study found that Indian firm Wipro, which has a consumer electronics division, was making important progress to becoming greener.

"There is not a single reason why companies like HP, Nokia and Apple can't do what Wipro is doing," Greenpeace's IT analyst Casey Harrell said to V3.

Wipro was ranked number one in Greenpeace's survey because of its efforts to increase its use of renewable energy, bring energy efficient products to market, nail down an effective product take back strategies, and advocate for better governmental energy standards.

Harrell says that advocacy is an important step companies should take to becoming more environmentally aware. However, he believes that many companies are not doing enough to get the government involved in green initiatives.

"These companies invest a lot of money in advocacy, just not for energy," continued Harrell.

"They invest in advocacy for things like IP reform and tax reform, just not for energy policy reform."

Greenpeace's study criticised Apple for its lack of advocacy efforts. The environmental agency gave the iPhone maker a ranking of zero when it came to environmental protection advocacy.

Apple has previously been slammed by Greenpeace for its decision to use glued in batteries in its latest Macbook devices.

While many US companies rated poorly on environmental advocacy, Harrell still holds out hope that some firms will try to do more going forward. As an example for his optimism, Greenpeace's IT analyst said that in 2010 HP came out against the controversial California bill Prop 23.

Another key area that Greenpeace thinks electronic firms need to improve upon is the lack of proper warranties on devices. Harrell says that companies can make the most energy efficient products in the world but if consumers have to buy a new product each year it won't matter.

"It is a huge problem," said Harrell.

"We can make products more energy efficient and create better product take back programmes to reduce e-waste. But even still, if we have a product turnover that is this rapid we are going to have significant problems."

Greenpeace's latest study is just another in a long line of environmental supplements that the group has released this year. Last April, the group slammed both Apple and Microsoft for using dirty energy to power their datacentres.

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James Dohnert

James is a freelance writer and editor. In addition to ClickZ, his work has appeared in publications like V3, The Commonwealth Club,, and Shonen Jump magazine. He studied Journalism at Weber State University.

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