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November 19, 2012

Wipro Grabs Top Spot from HP in Greenpeace's Guide to Greener Electronics



Wipro (News - Alert) Limited—an Indian multinational provider of information technology (IT), consulting and outsourcing services headquartered in Bangalore—has nabbed the top spot in the international version of Greenpeace’s Guide to Greener Electronics.

Released today, the 18th edition of the guide ranked 16 major electronics companies based on their commitment and progress in three environmental areas: energy and climate, greener products and sustainable operations.

Greenpeace, one of the most visible environmental organizations in the world, with headquarters in Amsterdam, commented that, “The guide scores companies on overall policies and practices – not on specific products – to provide consumers with a snapshot of the sustainability of the biggest names in the industry.”

Wipro scored the most points due to its efforts to embrace renewable energy and its high profile as an advocate for greener energy policies in India. Wipro also scored well for post-consumer e-waste collection for recycling and fphasing out hazardous substances from its products.

“Wipro has set a new benchmark for sustainability, not only in India but across the globe, that will have a long-term impact in shaping the green energy debate in the electronics industry,” said Greenpeace India Senior Campaigner Abhishek Pratap.

“The rest of the electronics sector should follow in the footsteps of Wipro’s climate leadership.”

In other results, HP dropped from number one in last year’s edition of the guide to number two. Nokia moved up from number four to number three. In turn, Dell (News - Alert) dropped from number three to number five; displacing Apple, which dropped slightly from number five to number six.

Taiwanese computer maker Acer was the most improved company in the guide, moving up nine spots to number four for engaging with its suppliers on greenhouse gas emissions, hazardous substances, conflict minerals and fiber sourcing. HCL Infosystems, another company only mentioned heretofore in the Indian version of the guide, entered the global ranking at number 13—tied with Sharp (News - Alert). Blackberry manufacturer RIM did not improve from its number 16 ranking, at the very bottom of the group.

The full list, in order of green commitment, comprises:

  • Wipro
  • HP
  • Nokia (News - Alert)
  • Acer
  • Dell
  • Apple
  • Samsung
  • Sony
  • Lenovo
  • Philips
  • Panasonic
  • LGE
  • Tied: HCL Infosystems and Sharp
  • Toshiba (News - Alert)
  •  RIM

For detailed information on the rankings, click here.

While these companies have made progress at removing toxic chemicals from the mobile phones, computers and tablets they produce, Greenpeace stops short of enthusiastic commendations—noting that their manufacturing and supply chains are still too heavily dependent on dirty energy sources that are contributing to climate change.

"The next big environmental challenge for consumer electronics companies is to reduce their carbon pollution," said Greenpeace International IT Analyst Casey Harrell. "Consumers have stated that they want greener electronics, which means high functioning gadgets that are built and powered by renewable energy."

Indeed, he points out that the bulk of the carbon footprint associated with many electronic devices is buried in the manufacturing chain, where the electronic devices are assembled. More carbon is used in the manufacture of some gadgets, such as tablets and smart phones, than consumers ever use after buying them.

"Companies should work with their suppliers to implement more efficient manufacturing processes and to power the supply chain with renewable energy, not fossil fuels, just as they have successfully done to reduce the toxic materials in electronics," Harrell said.

Launched in 2006, the Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics, has prompted improvements within the electronics industry, including the phase-out of hazardous substances from products. The guide is part of Greenpeace’s wider campaign to push the IT industry to develop the solutions needed for a global clean energy revolution.

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Edited by Brooke Neuman

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