August 30, 2006

Greenpeace and Purchasing decisions

Writing about web page

Greenpeace have released a survey of how environmentally friendly different technology companies are. It uses nice, bold colours such as green and red and certainly makes it easy to comprehend the conclusions that greenpeace have come to – even if you have the IQ of a goldfish. I wonder if people will really take note of this when making their purchasing decisions.

But there are question marks for me about the whole thing. For example when comparing the HP and Apple we find that HP scores well and apple badly on takeback policy, but when reading the web page that greenpeace cite as evidence for this the situation is a lot more confusing. Neither Apple nor HP provide takeback for all products in all regions, but in HP's case this is described as:

"Voluntary takeback – not for all products and not in every region of the world"

But in Apple's:

"No voluntary takeback for every country where Apple has sales of its products and not for every type of product"

The reason that I chose these two is because Apple was heavily criticised for the use of PVC in its Monitors. Now I own an HP 2335 which uses the same display panel (manufactured by LG–Philips) as the 23" Apple Cinema display. Why is HP excused from the criticism, but Apple is focussed upon? Both of them are using the same underlying product in this instance, and neither of them have found solutions to the use of PVC within their display technology, despite both of them having programs in place to attempt this.

So I'm really unsure as to how HP scores better than Apple in many categories. The whole thing seemed a little arbitrary – despite them listing their criterion. Still I hope they clear up things like this, since they idea of providing independant judgements on the environmental suitability of purchases is very helpful from a consumer point of view.

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