Oh CES, the destination in Sin City for the debut of tons of new gadgets and even more hype. It’s a strange experience living in the convention halls and hotels built out here in the desert, but Greenpeace does it every year to mark the progress of the consumer electronics sector as it moves — albeit slowly — toward providing greener products.
A few observable truths from here on the ground:
- Moore’s law is definitely in effect
- There are many more men here than women (no surprise, I guess)
- Everyone and their brother wants a tablet
- Some big tech companies are moving in the right direction by phasing out the use of key toxic chemicals and increasing the energy efficiency of some of their products
- Other big tech companies are lagging behind on sustainability and energy efficiency
To highlight the greenest gadgets on store shelves in 2011, we’ve put together a product survey titled, “Towards Greener Electronics” which we released at CES this morning. As we’ve noticed in the past few Guide to Greener Electronics versions, we’re seeing the greatest amount of progress in the reduction of toxic chemicals and the least amount of progress, in comparison, in responsible take-back programs. (You know, like your parents taught you: if you make a mess, you clean it up.)
The highest scoring product is the Asus VW-247H-HF computer monitor. This is the best scoring product of any of our three survey editions. In fact, Asus won two categories: notebooks and monitors. We also singled out Apple’s Macbook Pro (s aapl) and Philips’ Econova Television (s phg) for praise, despite these companies not submitting these two products to us.
The category winners are:
- Desktops: HP Compaq 6005 Pro Ultra-slim (s hpq) (6.06 points)
- Notebooks: Asus UL30A (5.59 points)
- Netbooks: Acer TM8172 (5.08 points)
- Monitors: Asus VW 247H-HF (7.50 points)
- Mobile Phones: Samsung GT-S7550(Blue Earth) (7.03 points)
- Televisions: Sharp LC-52SE1 (6.46 points)
- Smartphones: Sony Ericsson Aspen (M1i) (s sne) (s eric) (6.21 points)
* the full survey is available at www.greenpeace.org/electronics
** a new timeline showing five years of kick-butt, greener electronics campaigning is here.
A little history on the survey: In June 2010, Greenpeace invited 21 leading electronics companies to participate in its third Green Electronics Survey. The companies were asked to submit their greenest products from across six categories. Eighteen companies rose to the challenge, sharing their most-prized, environmentally-friendly products. “Toward Green Electronics” ranks these products and assesses the progress made over the past year by consumer electronic companies on their public commitments to green their products and reduce their impact on the environment.
For the past six years, Greenpeace has been campaigning for electronics companies to reduce their use of toxic chemicals and improve take-back and responsible recycling programs. Why? At every stage of a product’s lifecycle, from material extraction, through production and consumer use and ultimate disposal, electronic products can impact human health and the environment.
While there’s still plenty of room for improvement — most importantly in the areas of planned obsolescence and the health and safety of electronics workers — in many regards, campaigners and the electronics industry are no longer diametrically opposed on the most important environmental issues. It’s now the speed of change that we discuss, and Greenpeace will continue to push in both corporate boardrooms and global capitals for an end to e-waste pollution.
If you’re at CES and want to reach out, find us on Twitter @coolitchallenge.
Daniel Kessler is a Senior Press Officer for Greenpeace, the leading independent campaigning organization that uses peaceful direct action and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and to promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future. Daniel blogs at www.greenpeace.org and lives and works in the Bay Area.