Greenpeace sends out toxic warning for Nintendo, Microsoft

The Greener Electronics Guide ranks international companies based on two criteria: The appropriate measure of toxic chemicals and substances used by companies in the electronic manufacture of their productions, and ” takeback” and recycling policies of companies once their creative products become obsolete. The most recent edition of the Guide marks the first time television and console manufacturers have been included in the firm rankings, which rated the influential corporations on a scale of 0-10.

Nintendo is ranked at the bottom of the Guide scoring a zero on all criteria. Greenpeace claims the company has no policies regarding banned or restricted chemicals management, timelines for PVC and BFR phaseout, voluntary takeback programs and many other areas of environmental concern.

Microsoft did little better, ranked third from the bottom in its debut on list with a overall score of 2.7/10. The company scores points for its chemical management and for setting a timeline by which it intends to eliminate vinyl plastic (PVC) and all BFRs, but only by 2011. The software giant scores poorly on most waste criteria, but is officially reporting on amounts of e-waste recycled, albeit only for Europe.

Sony, the third combatant in the console wars, fared considerably better, placing near the top of the listing with a score of 7.3/10. The Guide says that the company receives a good score for generously providing many examples of products that are free from PVC plastic, including models of the VAIO notebook, Walkman, camcorders and digital cameras. Sony has commitments to phase out PVC and BFRs by 2010. Sony’s takeback and recycling program has good coverage, particularly in the U.S., and the company provides clear information to its consumers about what to do with discarded products. However, Sony’s ranking is an aggregate of all its hardware products, and its PlayStation consoles are not actually mentioned in the Guide.

Greenpeace’s Guide to Greener Electronics, released quarterly, was first published in August of 2006 and contains the top 18 manufacturers of personal computers, mobile phones, televisions and game consoles.