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Nokia and Sony Ericsson: Saving the world one phone at a time

It’s no secret that some of the things that we like a lot aren’t great for the environment. Like… well, electronics in general and while many companies think putting ‘think before you print’ at the bottom of their emails makes them environmentally friendly, it doesn’t.

Lucky for us, Greenpeace is keeping tabs on electronics manufacturers and regularly ranks them in a Guide to Greener Electronics. The 14th edition has just been announced to coincide with CES, and some of our favourite phone makes are doing very well indeed. It makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside to see that the top two electronics manufacturers in this edition are phone manufacturers – Nokia comes in top with Sony Ericsson not far behind.

What’s more, the only three companies with product ranges free of the worst hazardous substances all manufacture handsets: Sony Ericsson, Nokia and Apple.

It’s not just clean manufacturing processes that earn praise; Apple and Sony Ericsson also score bonus points for putting pressure on EU institutions to support a ban of PVC (vinyl plastic) and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) – a wide range of chemicals which have toxic properties which don’t degrade and are able to build up in humans and animals.

Samsung receives a boo, a hiss and a big drop from second to seventh place for failing to eliminate BFRs from all its products as it had pledged to do by January 2010 – its latest mobile phones, however, are free from toxic substances. Let’s hope they clean up all their electronics soon so we can give them a bigger cheer next time.

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