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Lenovo Tops Eco-Friendly Ranking 94

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the laptop-hugging dept.
gollum123 writes to tell us that according to a recent list compiled by Greenpeace, Lenovo has topped the list of "eco-friendly" companies scoring an 8 out of a possible 10 while Apple fell to the bottom of the list with only a 2.7. "Iza Kruszewska, Greenpeace international toxics campaigner, said the industry had made some positive steps in the last 12 months with firms starting to act rather than just issue statements of intent. Of the 14 companies profiled, said Ms Kruszewska, nine now score more than five out of 10."
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Lenovo Tops Eco-Friendly Ranking

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  • by LiquidCoooled (634315) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @04:48PM (#18612493) Homepage Journal
    But apples grow on trees, you can't get any greener than that.

    Mind you, think of the poor turtles murdered each year for Steve Jobs' wardrobe.
  • by saikou (211301) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @04:56PM (#18612589) Homepage
    Say, in 2009 and you get the top billing [sci-tech-today.com].
    Greenpeace is weird. But we already know that :)
    • The article you linked to was fluff. To summarize, it says "I feel Apple is green, Steve Jobs is a vegeterian and Michael Dell eats meat. Why is Apple ranked so low?"

      Read Greenpeace's report here. [greenpeace.org]

      It's quite simple why Apple's on the bottom of the list. All the other companies have done something to green up. Sony Erricson's eliminated PVC & BFRs. Dell's adopted a worldwide takeback policy & committed to a date for elimination of PVC & BFRs. Lenovo's also got a takeback policy & reports on recycling as a percentage of sales (as opposed to Apple's "just trust us" policy.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        Greenpeace's claims have been analyzed in this BusinessWeek article [businessweek.com] and in a series of articles at roughlydrafted.com [roughlydrafted.com]. One conclusion both sources make is that Greenpeace applies different criteria to different companies and seems to be targeting Apple due to the company's visibility.
        • by turing_m (1030530)
          It does sound rather like an extortion racket... threaten whoever has the most to lose. I wonder if cash payments or expensive gifts would improve Apple's rankings, if they were given to the right people.
        • Greenpeace's claims have been analyzed in this BusinessWeek article and....

          That business week article is the same article the OP posted - just syndicated on a different website. Do you read the threads you're responding to?

          ....and in a series of articles at roughlydrafted.com.

          Roughly drafted? Sorry. They have no credibility after being busted spamming digg [googlepages.com]

          One conclusion both sources make is that Greenpeace applies different criteria to different companies and seems to be targeting Apple due to the company's visibility.

          Errrr, I didn't read that conclusion in the Business week article. Can you please explain how Greenpeace is applying different criteria to different companies?

      • If you read the MDDS of Intel CPUs [pcnalert.com], you will find that all Intel CPUs contain BFRs. Do those commitments about eliminating BFRs mean those company like DELL will stop using Intel CPU?
        • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

          find that all Intel CPUs contain BFRs. Do those commitments about eliminating BFRs mean those company like DELL

          How about Apple stop using BFRs in their portable line? Nokia & Sony/Ericsson mangaged to.

          Oooooooh right. We should only compare Apple to Dell.
      • by NtroP (649992)

        It's quite simple why Apple's on the bottom of the list. All the other companies have done something to green up.

        Have you ever received an Apple product in the mail? The efficient packaging alone must save a ton on the amount of shipping space (and thereby the number of ships, planes, trucks, etc. to ship their products world-wide) and raw materials required. Add to that the fact that, in general my Apple products stay useful almost twice as long as the Dells I have and I'd say that if you take the whole package, Apple is far "greener", FWIW, than many other computer companies. Also, I still have all of the packa

    • by 4e617474 (945414)
      Apple would rather get bottom marks on a ranking than tell you anything about what it plans to do in 2009. These are the people who wanted a modern day Sacco-Venzetti trial over someone finding out what their service manual said on the subject of thermal grease. They will *not* be telling you about their manufacturing processes in advance - even when they get a letter warning them that the alternative is a little bad press. That's their call, let them live with the consequence. No one's going to care in
  • Toxic substances? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by biocute (936687) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @04:59PM (#18612623) Homepage
    From the FTA: "However, Lenovo lost marks for still using some of the most toxic substances to make its products. Other firms in the top five, such as Sony-Ericsson, have already eliminated toxic chemicals including brominated fire retardants, polyvinyl chloride, beryllium and phthalates from their factories."

    So can we really say Lenovo tops the list?
  • But... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lord Satri (609291) <alexandreleroux@ ... inus threevowels> on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @04:59PM (#18612629) Homepage Journal
    I had such a conversation with friends recently... does such analysis includes:
    - The time computers can be effectively used (Apple computers have a significantly longer lifespan on my desks than the PCs)
    - The waste of time / energy required to manage the computer (security, virus, etc)
    - The user-efficiency related to the operating system itself
    - The differences in sleep modes and energy consumption at low usage
    - The longevity and eco-friendliness of laptop batteries
    - etc etc etc.

    See also this previous /. story [slashdot.org] and Green My Apple [greenpeace.org]. In short, I believe not everything is black or white, it's rather grey. Of course, I agree that all computer producers should improve their eco-friendliness, but measuring this eco-friendliness is not a simple task.
    • Re:But... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Qwavel (733416) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @05:26PM (#18613011)

      Agreed. Measuring eco-friendliness is difficult and fuzzy.

      On the other hand, companies only make changes to their environmental practises if they are afraid of (A) a financial penalty (ie. getting caught breaking the law), or (B) bad publicity.

      And that's why we need studies like this. But whenever these studies appear, the company and its supporters look for ways to undermine the study and its source. This is a constant. If consumers buy into this, then the company escapes from having to make any changes. Consumers must accept that, as imperfect as the study and its source are, it is an opportunity to put pressure on the company to improve.
    • In related news... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by mangu (126918) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @05:43PM (#18613233)

      Apple computers have a significantly longer lifespan on my desks than the PCs
      ...and Porsches have significantly longer lifespans than Fords. One of the main factors people take into account when replacing something is how much the replacement will cost.


      So, yes, if you consider the total environmental impact of a company, those with more expensive products will have a smaller effect. But this says nothing about the relative impact per unit sold, which is what really matters when you evaluate how "eco-friendly" a corporation is.

      • What evidence do you offer when making the claim that Porsches have significantly longer lifespans than Fords?

        There are a lot of durable old Ford trucks on the road. Porsches lead coddled lives.

        And furthermore, any analogy that says Porsche=Apple, Ford=PC belongs on apple.slashdot.org not here. This is regular Slashdot, not RDF Slashdot.

      • by NeMon'ess (160583) *
        Eco-impact per unit sold isn't the right metric. Eco-impact per user, is. If a Mac gets used twice as long as a Dell, the eco-impact of the Mac should get halved when comparing it to the Dell.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Sunrun (553558)
        "Apple computers have a significantly longer lifespan on my desks than the PCs"

        ...and Porsches have significantly longer lifespans than Fords. One of the main factors people take into account when replacing something is how much the replacement will cost.

        So, yes, if you consider the total environmental impact of a company, those with more expensive products will have a smaller effect. But this says nothing about the relative impact per unit sold, which is what really matters when you evaluate how "eco-f
    • Re:But... (Score:4, Informative)

      by fm6 (162816) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @06:06PM (#18613503) Homepage Journal
      Yes, it's a positive thing when a computer lasts longer and is easier to use. But does that outweigh Apple's refusal to move away from toxic chemicals in manufacturing? I think not.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Repeating "Apple computers have a longer useful life" doesn't make it any truer. I've got a PII 233 that is a router (running m0n0wall). I've got a 1.2 GHz K7 (running linux) I use as a fileserver/repository (it originally had a 800 MHz K7 in it but I got an upgrade for free). That's some vintage equipment in my book.

      In addition I have numerous left over components from machines long since gone which I could easily work into something servicable should the need arise. I think the exact opposite of what
      • by Moofie (22272)
        "There are so many cheap pc parts available people practically give them away."

        Well, that might be true, but it's not necessarily indicative of the way computers actually get used by regular people. If Bubba's current $350 PC is full o' crapware, is he going to pay ThinkGeek $300 to fail to fix it, or is he going to go buy another $350 PC?

    • by edschurr (999028)
      Not that this is indicative of any trend, but I ran Windows 2000 for about 5 years 4 months, on a 1200MHZ Athlon Thunderbird. It feels a bit slow in comparison to the new one I got for free, but I could have run it forever. Now that I'm using GNU/Linux and KDE, but lots of small S-Lang/curses-type applications, I can't imagine ever upgrading. It'll probably be because I want more processing power for my experimental personal programs before a must-have new paradigm comes along.
    • by subl33t (739983)

      - The waste of time / energy required to manage the computer (security, virus, etc)
      - The user-efficiency related to the operating system itself
      - The differences in sleep modes and energy consumption at low usage


      These points only apply to the OS, not the hardware manufacturer...
  • by arcite (661011) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @05:01PM (#18612665)
    It's simple really. Thinkpads are so well made that they never need to be replaced.

    Incidently mine is in the shop with a dead processor cooling fan unit, soon to be replaced. Just testing the faith in the black monolith, thats all.

    • by rucs_hack (784150)
      black monoliths are ok, but the crowds of monkeys throwing sticks in the air that turn into spaceships can be a real inconvenience some days....
    • by robogun (466062)
      True enough, but I notice the R series all have their USB ports falling out after only a couple years of use.
  • by Qwavel (733416) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @05:09PM (#18612765)

    Apple came last in this ranking because, when they've done poorly in this ranking in the past, they sent out the PR attack dogs to undermine GP and the study, rather then making any changes to the practices in question.

    Of course, many companies behave this way. When MS discovered during the anti-trust trials that the public's perception of them was a problem, they too responded with PR rather then changing their behavior.

    Yes, Yes, I know that both GP and this study are far from perfect, but they are a more objective judge of this matter then Apple itself (or the Apple fanboys who are modding me down as we speak).

    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by falcon5768 (629591)
      Um no, a ton of people in the computing world, many reporters with no connection to Apple completely blasted the GP report for what it was, complete bullshit propaganda targeting a major company with a hippy image to spur publicity with no evidence anything they reported was true (and infact much of it was not yet they refused to retract the story)

      Read real info before you ever read greenpeace PR. They are like PETA completely batshit insane making a industry out of scaring people and activism. Only that

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by His Shadow (689816)
      You'll get modded down for defending an essentially useless "report" for the sake of trolling for Apple supporters. Everything Greenpeace does is designed to generate press for Greenpeace to boost donations. EPEAT's ranking, using real world metrics and not the nonsense Greenpeace invented, reverse Greenpeace's findings. Is the US EPA now an Apple "fanboy" as well?
    • Got anything to back that up?

      You should be modded down, not because people are "Apple fanboys" but because you're making unsubstantiated claims. That's not insightful, that's trolling. Post something to back up your claim.
    • I'm shocked and appalled that Apple came last. I thought they were a lot of granola-munching, liberal, tree-hugging hippies but they are just like every other corporation: polluting, spin-controlling, anti-contractor and profit-oriented.
      Does anybody want to buy a used iPod?
  • Most unexpected (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Bullard (62082) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @05:17PM (#18612885) Homepage
    Most unexpected, considering that Lenovo is mostly owned by Chinese Communist Party regime-held corporations with their in-house Communist Party political officers and all, and the regime's environmental record since they converted from communism to the more lucrative fascism hasn't been anything short of catastrophic for the common Chinese people.


    As an environmentally conscientious person I must give this particular corporation some credit for trying to do the right thing environment-wise, but I still wouldn't choose to allow my money to fund the militaristic policies of the Chinese state. Arrogant, expansionist and rich Chinese dictatorship is at the bottom of my personal wishlist.

    Are they still allowed to use the IBM logo to fool people?

    • Re:Most unexpected (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) * <whineymacfanboy@gmail.com> on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @05:33PM (#18613073) Homepage Journal
      but I still wouldn't choose to allow my money to fund the militaristic policies of the Chinese state.

      I wouldn't buy a computer then (or just about anything else).

      You do realise that Apple PCs are made in exactly the same Chinese factories as other PCs? Using the same cheap 60-hours-a-week-isnt-overtime labour?
      • Re:Most unexpected (Score:5, Interesting)

        by wellingj (1030460) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @06:13PM (#18613575)
        So buy a Panasonic ToughBook. Engineered and Made in Japan, and aguably more bomb proof than a ThinkPad.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by steelfood (895457)
        Actually, GP might as well not buy anything. There's so much stuff that's made in China these days, and even if the product as a whole isn't, numerous parts are. And even if not that, the same companies have business interests in China. Hell, if GP is living in the US, it's time to leave. The US government owes the Chinese government a lot of money...

        Fact of the matter is, China is not a communist regime. It's a not-quite-so benevolent dictatorship. However, dictatorships (and all governments for that matte
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by delire (809063)
      The Macbook (and around 70% of all other portables) is made by Taiwanese company Quanta Computing [engadget.com] along with your iPod [appleinsider.com]. Apple products are about as American-made as Grass Jelly [wikipedia.org].
    • by SEE (7681)
      the regime's environmental record since they converted from communism to the more lucrative fascism hasn't been anything short of catastrophic for the common Chinese people.

      Oh, China's environmental record wasn't any better.

      For example, consider the backyard steel smelters Mao Zedong imposed. They were fed ten percent of China's forests in just two years, polluting the air with tremendous quantities of soot and smoke, all to convert vast quantities of scrap iron into worthless slag.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by ady1 (873490)

      but I still wouldn't choose to allow my money to fund the militaristic policies of the Chinese state

      Damn right soldier. Neither would I, as we all know that Chinese are are one famous for misusing their military power throughout the world.

      Oh wait!
      Never mind.
    • by tbone1 (309237)
      Most unexpected, considering that Lenovo is mostly owned by Chinese Communist Party regime-held corporations with their in-house Communist Party political officers and all, and the regime's environmental record since they converted from communism to the more lucrative fascism hasn't been anything short of catastrophic for the common Chinese people.

      As an environmentally conscientious person I must give this particular corporation some credit for trying to do the right thing environment-wise, but I still w

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @05:17PM (#18612889)
    Check it out here:

    The Damn Small Machine! [damnsmalllinux.org]

    This guy is the same guy who produces the distro Damn Small Linux. The distro is basically Knoppix cut down to fit within a 50MB CD. Well, he decided, being a tree-hugger California type, to build fanless and low-power boxes for people to buy. They use VIA's low-power (8 watt peak) x86 "Eden" CPU's and are actually pretty good.

    There are now even newer ones by other folks which use the VIA C7; I saw a couple of models at TigerDirect. The C7, while requiring a fan for the highest CPU speeds, goes up to 2.0GHz [mailto] and uses 20W at full tilt, max. If I didn't already have a bunch of computers (I'm an IT consultant), I'd have bought one already. Matter of fact, my next one will indeed be one of these.
    • by jcgf (688310)
      I'd be carefull buying a via cpu again. I had a 533MHz 6000 C3 and it wasn't even as fast as an equivalently clocked celeron. Don't get me wrong the C7s might be better but I'm still kicking myself for not just buying a mac mini.
    • Be careful in labeling that as an "eco-friendly" computer. The issue is not power consumption as much as it is the overall production impact on the environment. I am, quite frankly, impressed at the power consumption footprint of the VIA EPIA series (and their acoustic noise reduction); however, the issues are how close the machine comes to positive on the environmental ledger sheet when you account for negative cost adjustment due to pollution.

      In other words, in the standard view of the product it is tempo
      • by Moofie (22272)
        Seems to me like all of those factors should be evaluated with respect to the state of the art. It may be possible to create circuit boards from recycled edamame husks and smug, but nobody's figured out how to do that yet.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by evilviper (135110)

      The C7, while requiring a fan for the highest CPU speeds, goes up to 2.0GHz and uses 20W at full tilt, max.

      That 2.0GHz, isn't remotely comparable with an Intel or AMD 2GHz CPU. Indeed, I'd expect it to perform less than half as fast as you might expect from that rating... Much worse than even a 2.0GHz Pentium 4...

      For a high-performance system, I'd suggest a Turion... $80 on newegg for a 25W MAX, 2.0GHz AMD CPU, that will work in many cheap and available socket 754 motherboards. Not to mention that Cool'

  • Why bother? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by grumpyman (849537) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @05:34PM (#18613097)
    The article is an apparent flame-bait for slashdotters. There's such a sentiment that "Apple is great", "Lenovo is evil, coz they bought our beloved thinkpad and it is run by a Chinese company". There's nothing to see here, in the comment page.
  • by Once&FutureRocketman (148585) <otvk4o702NO@SPAMsneakemail.com> on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @06:36PM (#18613817) Homepage
    This report generated quite a buzz in the green blogosphere when it was released (last year). There are some [treehugger.com] serious [roughlydrafted.com] questions [temasactuales.com] about the validity of the report.
  • by God of Lemmings (455435) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @07:05PM (#18614141)
    This seems to be part of a campaign bend apple into more of a green product.

    On their own page, they go as far as manipulating the truth to make it appear that
    Apple is doing less work than it is actually doing: http://www.greenpeace.org/apple/about.html [greenpeace.org]

    "Apple finally came around to a limited recycling program in the US, but they can do better."

    This is worded as if it just happened recently. Except that the US (and Japan) take-back program started
    up in 2002. (Announced in 2001) It includes not only recycling of its own computers, but also other
    vendor's computers and monitors. I wonder which way they consider this to be "limited"?

    http://www.apple.com/environment/recycling/ [apple.com]
    http://www.apple.com/environment/ [apple.com]

    The images at the top of the Greenpeace site show Chinese children holding color iMac keyboards dating
    before 2000.... before recycling programs in the US and Asia actually existed.

    The page is designed to get Apple to do two things:
            * Remove the worst toxic chemicals from all their products and production lines.
            * Offer and promote free "take-back" for all their products everywhere they are sold.

    The question here is, is it reasonable to persecute Apple for not meeting an arbitrarily set "worst toxic chemicals" goal? And I say this because "worst toxic chemicals" is fairly ambiguous.
    They recycle plastics, foam, paper and whatnot from their products, they follow a number of environmental standards in the US and Europe and maintain their own.

    Should Apple offer free "take-back" worldwide? Even Levono doesn't do so.
    http://www.pc.ibm.com/ww/lenovo/about/environment/ ptb_us.html [ibm.com]

    However, in the very least, it should be reasonable for Apple to accept recycled equipment worldwide, if at
    a fee.

  • "Apple fell to the bottom of the list with only a 2.7."

    Don't tell that to Apple's famous, eco-conscious, board member.
  • What about AL GORE! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by JesseJackson (309813)
    Wouldn't one think that Mr. Al Gore, the warrior that is leading us all to carbon utopia in his private jets and SUV's would be able to do something about this? As a member of the board at Apple you would think he'd be leading the company towards a greener way
    I suppose he'll just educate us carbon hogs and make it everybody elses problem to reduce their pollutants. As long as he talks about the problem it's ok that him and the companies he is afiliated with are some of the worst offenders.

  • Basically, they're "recycling" them by sending me busted ones.

    Blog entries passim starting here [joel.co.uk], with pretty much all the posts here [joel.co.uk].

    (in short, 15 repair tickets so far and counting, replacement's arrived and is bust...)

Dennis Ritchie is twice as bright as Steve Jobs, and only half wrong. -- Jim Gettys

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