How Green is Nintendo, Anyway?


Holiday shopping for eco-conscious gamers just got more complicated. Earlier this month, we lauded the energy efficiency of the Nintendo Wii, especially when compared to their power-hogging competitors, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s Playstation 3. But as is often the case, that’s not the whole story.

Greenpeace, in a new report, rated tech manufacturers on their use of toxic materials and recycling policies, and Nintendo received the lowest score. It scored zero in the four categories related to recycling and zero in the five related to the use of toxic chemicals, offering, as CNET points out, “no list of banned or restricted substances and no policy regarding the use of vinyl plastic or brominated flame retardants.”

The lack of information, it turns out — not proven eco offenses — was largely responsible for the low score. “No information on how Nintendo communicates with its supply chain,” the report grouses at one point. And “[N]o mechanism for identifying substances for future elimination or examples of these substances.”

If I’m reading this report right, it’s actually not clear how environmentally friendly (or not) Nintendo is; lacking data, Greenpeace has assumed the worse. I asked a Nintendo spokesman for an official response to the report, but so far I haven’t received one. At the moment, then, the only thing about Nintendo that we’re sure is green is its relentless profit.

Comments are closed.