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HP, Dell and Apple move ahead in Greenpeace’s gadget guide

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Greenpeace has used competition and public shaming to nudge consumer electronics makers to avoid using toxic materials, reduce their carbon footprint and recycle more. On Wednesday it’s releasing its latest version (the 17th) of its green gadget list that has Nokia (s NOK) yielding the top spot to Hewlett-Packard (s HPQ) and Dell (s DELL) shooting up to the No. 2 spot from No. 10.

Nokia, which won the top spot for three previous years, but slipped to No.3 because of its lower score in how energy efficient its operations are and how much it embraces renewable energy, Greenpeace said. HP scored well because of its efforts in reducing emissions and lobbying for climate legislation. Dell won kudos for its plan to reduce its emissions by 40 percent by 2020 and its use of sustainable materials.

Apple (s AAPL) and Philips rounded up the top 5 on the list of 15 manufactures (Apple previously ranked No. 9). Research in Motion, maker of Blackberry, made it to the list for the first time but ranked last. Toshiba and LG got the same score and tied for the 13th spot (there is no 14th placement as a result).

First launched in 2006, Greenpeace has steadily added criteria to its Guide to Greener Electronics. It initially primarily considered the manufacturers’ use of toxic materials and efforts to take back old products for recycling. But later on began factoring in the use of energy and started looking at the environmental impact of a product from the source of materials and components to the end of its life. It also now judges companies on how active they advocate for legislation that supports clean energy generation.

Greenpeace said its ranking has prompted companies to change their practices and produce more environmentally-friendly gadgets. It’s run related campaigns that tried to get Internet companies to use more renewable energy at their data centers, and has targeted Facebook in particular. In response, Facebook said earlier this year it will consider the energy use and carbon footprint when it builds more data centers. Apple, too, has supposedly taken a harder look at its sustainability initiatives after getting harsh reviews from Greenpeace.

Image courtesy of Greenpeace

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