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Greenpeace puts HP in top spot in greener-electronics guide

Although it still ranks low for e-waste recycling, HP scores well for its sustainability efforts in supply chain management, according to the greener-electronics guide.

HP is tops among tech companies when it comes to green efforts, followed by Dell, Nokia, and Apple, according to Greenpeace's latest guide.

HP is now the top-ranked tech company, according to Greenpeace's latest guide to greener electronics.

The guide's criteria has been updated to take into greater account energy use, conflict minerals, green products, and supply chain energy use.

Greenpeace released its latest rankings today, showing HP moving ahead three to the top spot. It's a big leap considering that just six years ago HP was targeted by Greenpeace as one of the worst tech companies for using fire retardant materials suspected of being hazardous. At the time, Greenpeace members stood outside of HP's headquarters and handed out fliers that said "HP: Harmful Products."

Though it still ranked low for e-waste recycling, HP scored well for its sustainability efforts in supply chain management, and its efforts in cleaner paper procurement and avoiding the use of conflict minerals.

"HP and Dell are the only companies in the guide that effectively exclude the sourcing of paper from suppliers linked to illegal logging or deforestation. Together with Apple, HP is also a top scorer for its policies and practices on the sourcing of conflict minerals, for publishing its suppliers and engaging effectively in the Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition's conflict-free smelter program," according to the HP report in the Green Guide.

Dell saw the biggest gain moving up eight spots to second place. Greenpeace gave Dell the best score out of any tech company for energy efficiency, though it still scored poorly when it comes to offering green products. Greenpeace also noted that Dell has a plan to reduce its overall emissions as a company by as much as 40 percent by 2015.

Nokia, which has held first place since September 2008, dropped down to third place. While the company still scores the maximum for offering energy efficient products, it scored poorly when it came to its own operational efficiency as a company. Nokia needs to add more renewable energy to its portfolio, reduce its greenhouse gas emission, and improve its efficiency when it comes to electricity use, Greenpeace said in its report on the cell phone giant.

Apple, which has had a varied relationship with Greenpeace, moved up five places to fourth place. The company scored zeros in the categories of clean-energy policy advocacy, paper sourcing, and using recycled plastics in products. However, it received kudos for its policy avoiding conflict minerals, having very energy efficient products, and removing several hazardous materials from its products. All Apple products, with the exception of some power cords in certain countries, are completely free of brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and PVC vinyl plastics.

The rest of the rankings were as follows, respectively, from fifth place to 15th: Philips, Sony Ericsson, Samsung, Lenovo, Panasonic, Sony, Sharp, Acer, LG Electronics, Toshiba, and RIM.

Detailed reports on each company's score and the reasons behind them can be found on the Greenpeace Web site.