Greenpeace fails Nintendo...again

Wii maker again flunks Greenpeace's quarterly "Guide to Greener Electronics" report card, just outpacing Microsoft; Sony receives middling grade.

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Since August 2006, Greenpeace has issued its "Guide to Greener Electronics," a quarterly report ranking the top 17 tech companies on three basic criteria: their willingness to remove hazardous materials from their products, their attempts to responsibly take back and recycle obsolete hardware, and their efforts to reduce climate impact from their company and products. Greenpeace bases its rankings entirely on publically available information from the companies' Web sites.

Nintendo is a dirty, dirty game boy.
Nintendo is a dirty, dirty game boy.

Nintendo has ranked at the very bottom of this list since Greenpeace began including the Wii maker in 2007, and that changed not at all in the environment-protection organization's most recent report card, issued this week. On a 10-point scale, Nintendo scored a 0.8, receiving the lowest-possible "Bad" rating in 11 of 15 total categories. The Japanese company received a "partially bad" rating in the categories of chemical management, timeline to phase out harmful substances, carbon footprint disclosure, and greenhouse-gas emissions reduction commitment.

Responding to requests for comment on Greenpeace's report card, Nintendo provided GameSpot with the following statement:

"Nintendo takes great care to comply with all relevant regulations, including avoiding the use of dangerous materials and recycling of materials," the publisher said. "For example, all Nintendo products supplied worldwide are designed to comply with relevant global standards."

"In order to certify that Nintendo products comply with standards for hazardous chemical substances, Nintendo has established the Green Procurement Standards, which require [that] our component suppliers certify that any parts including hazardous chemical substances should not be delivered, and Nintendo fully controls its products in the company," the publisher continued. "Nintendo is always actively looking at ways to continue to increase its environmental stewardship and holds this as a corporate priority worldwide."

Greenpeace also gave Microsoft a mostly dismal grade of 2.7, though it did climb in position to 15. According to Greenpeace, the Xbox 360 maker's strong point is under the toxic-chemicals criteria, though it performed miserably in the e-waste metrics. As for energy consumption, Greenpeace noted that 24.4 percent of all electricity Microsoft uses comes from renewable resources but that the company needs to do a better job of reporting on its renewable energy and increase its commitment to using renewable energy.

Sony easily outscored its gaming-industry competitors on Greenpeace's chart, climbing two places to the fifth slot. The PlayStation 3 maker saw gains due to the energy efficiency of its products, Greenpeace said, but the company still needs to set targets and establish a timeline for increasing its use of renewable energy. The Japanese company also scored "relatively well" in the e-waste and harmful-chemicals categories.

Greenpeace's full report is available through the environmental organization's Web site.

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