GreenPeace Finally Gets HP To Commit To Reducing Toxic Materials
Greenpeace activists scored a victory recently when electronics manufacturer Hewlett Packard committed to a phase out plan for a range of hazardous chemicals in its products. The company was the first (and only) major IT producer to announce a genuinely green initiative at the recently held CeBIT fair in Hannover.
Greenpeace was present at the CeBIT fair, which is the world´s largest IT event and has been calling for companies to reduce the problem of toxic waste due to dumped non-biodegradable electronics and gadgets (also read my first blogpost about this).
HP’s policy change didn’t happen overnight and should not be seen as a direct result of Greenpeace´s action at the CeBIT fair only. “Back in 2003 we found that one of their computers contained particularly high amounts of a toxic chemical. Subsequently we confronted HP with the reality of their lack of action at their European headquarters, asked awkward questions when the HP boss visited China and finally turned up at their world headquarters in California with a special message for their staff”, Greenpeace reports on its website. The activists engaged the public at large in its “Greenpeace versus HP” showdown in 2005.
The activists say they’re laying down the gauntlet for the remaining companies that still mass produce using toxics. These include Acer, Apple, Dell, Fujitsu-Siemens, IBM, Lenovo, Panasonic, Siemens and Toshiba have so far failed to follow the industry leaders. Greenpeace first produced its ‘Guide to Greener Electronics’ in August 2006 and ranks companies annually. Current best performers are Sony Erickson and Samsun, which both score 7.7 out of 10 points.