Toxic Wii not green enough


28 Nov 2007

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In the latest Guide to Greener Electronics, published by Greenpeace, Nintendo scores a zero across the board on all criteria, including use of toxic chemicals and take-back and recycling schemes; the first global brand to do so according to Greenpeace.

Part of the criteria on which these electronics companies are judged also involves how publicly available they make information on their green policies as well as how transparent they are in their communications.

The reason that Nintendo — manufacturer of the both the Wii gaming console and the handheld Nintendo DS Lite — scored an absolute zero is because it failed to provide information regarding environmental procedures or policies to individual customers, or in general.

Out of the nine different categories in which these electronics companies are judged, there is a ranking of good, partially good, partially bad and bad. Nintendo scored bad on all counts.

Greenpeace found that Nintendo provides no information on voluntary take-back, no reports on amount of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) collected and recycled and no information on support for individual-producer responsibility.

It was found that Sony Ericsson is the greenest electronics firm of them all, scoring a 7.7 out of 10, due to improved take-back reporting and new models — which are free from the chemical PVC – but the company falls down on take-back practice.

Greenpeace reported a big improvement for Samsung, which has been manufacturing more products free from the worst toxic chemicals, while Sony took third place for improved recycling, especially in the US.

While Nintendo was named and shamed for taking the bottom spot, Greenpeace still found that Philips and Microsoft were not doing much better, scoring a 2 and 2.7 respectively.

Microsoft, which is new to the guide, received a 2.7 because of the “long timeline for toxic chemicals elimination (2011) and poor take-back policy and practice”.

By Marie Boran