Jul 17 - Electronics Companies Go Towards the Green Path

Lately, many of the world's leading electronics makers have been trying to "green" their products. Companies like Dell have made environmental commitments such as increasing recycling programs and creating more Earth-friendly computers. Also, Greenpeace recently released its scorecard rating for the largest PC and electronics makers based on the companies' recycling programs, and hazardous chemicals and recycling policies. Nokia topped the poll with a score of 8 out of 10. Michelle Kessler of USA Today reports.

Companies are motivated by customer demand as much as altruism, says Scott Martin, a marketing director at Motorola. Confidential Motorola customer surveys show a marked increase in environmental concerns, he says. (He wouldn't provide specifics.)

Going green isn't easy. Reducing the power usage of a product can hurt performance. Electronics recyclers often spend more on labor than they earn reselling materials.

"Companies use (hazardous) chemicals for a reason," says Craig Hershberg, director of environmental affairs for Toshiba. There are few good, affordable ways to make the light source behind most laptop screens and flat-panel TVs without mercury, for example.

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Read Greenpeace's "Guide to Greener Electronics."

CAW is currently sponsoring AB 48 (Saldaña), which would require manufacturers to phase out the use of specific hazardous materials in virtually all consumer electronics. The bill is next up in Senate Appropriations and continues to need your support!

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