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How to Buy Green Electronics

Posted 28 November 2008 by admin to Opinion.

To follow up on Jacob’s blog, there is EPEAT that ranks the electronic products on the American side, but also the EU Flower that awards computers on the European side. For instance, in the product category “Notebooks”, ASUS just received the European Flower, whereas Toshiba is ranked among the best companies according to EPEAT for one of its notebooks.

After a quick look on their websites, both organisations, the EPEAT and the EU Flower, are independent structures that seem to assess the electronic products according to similar life-cycle criteria. On the other hand, when looking at the EU Flower database, there are only two products in the category “portable computers and personals computers”.Another point worth mentioning is the Greenpeace barometer. They periodically rank the best (and the worst) electronic producers according to life-cycle principles. This barometer has been running for two years now and 10 guides (or rankings) have been published. Nokia is in the leading position at the moment.

Finally, there are of course all the self-declared labels, where the producers award themselves according to their own criteria. An example is Philips’ Greenthink logo. Adding to confusion? Greenwash? Or good intention to improve their products? À propos, Philips is lagging behind in the Greenpeace ranking “due to regressive lobbying against the principle of Individual Producer Responsibility in an EU consultation on the revision of the WEEE Directive” and e-waste criteria. On the other hand, the company holds the EPEAT silver medal for some flat screens.

Personally, as a consumer, I think I’d rather rely on EPEAT, the Flower or Greenpeace.

EPEAT
EU Flower
Greenpeace Guide to greener electronics