- Reuters/Thomas Peter
China’s smartphone brands are among the least green manufacturers on the planet, according to a new Greenpeace report which ranks the biggest consumer electronics makers by their environmental performance.
Xiaomi – often described as China’s Apple – Oppo, and Vivo rank bottom of the Greenpeace table, which has ranked 17 companies across three “critical” impact areas. They are: reduction of greenhouse gases through efficient energy use, use of sustainable materials, and use of hazardous chemicals. Greenpeace ranks the firms by their transparency, commitment, and advocacy efforts.
Another Chinese phone giant, Huawei, ranks low on the list.
Together, the four brands account for a quarter of all smartphone share. But, according to Greenpeace, they particularly lack transparency and “substantial commitment” to renewable energy.
Amazon is also ranked as “one of the least transparent companies in the world” when it comes to environmental performance. The company gives few details on sourcing recycled materials, and doesn’t publish any restrictions on hazardous chemicals usage.
Apple’s slowing iPhones are bad for the environment
Lots of people believe Apple deliberately slows down older iPhone models after a new handset has come out. A recent benchmarking test disputes this – but many are convinced of this “planned obsolescence” tactic.
It turns out it’s pretty bad for the environment too, according to Greenpeace (emphasis ours):
“Faced with market saturation for their devices in many countries, companies across the sector have increasingly changed the design of their products in a way that accelerates the replacement cycle by, making them difficult to service or upgrade, shortening the useful life of otherwise functional devices. Apple, Microsoft, and Samsung are among the companies moving in the wrong direction on sustainable product design. HP, Dell, and Fairphone are the notable exceptions to this trend, producing a growing number of products that are repairable and upgradable.”
But Apple otherwise gets a high ranking from Greenpeace because of its 100% commitment to renewable energy, and its overall transparency.
Netherlands brand Fairphone takes the top spot overall, followed by Apple, and then Dell.
Here’s the full ranking: