Greenpeace activists have given a green light to Apple, following the company’s publication of a detailed breakdown of its greenhouse gas emissions. The environmental activists also credit Apple as being ahead of the industry in terms of removing toxic components. Apple eliminated these materials from its entire product line almost a year ago.

In the latest edition of the Guide to Greener Electronics (a quarterly assesment of the big tech firms), Apple sites around number five, the middle of the scale. Greenpeace admits these latest figures were put together before Apple’s recent publication of extensive environmental data.

“We went to press before Apple’s updated environmental information was published last week,” Greenpeace says, adding, “but the welcome news of their transparency about greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental disclosures will be factored in to the next edition. Apple can justly pat itself on the back for listening to their customers who asked for greener gadgets. And all you Apple users should pat yourselves on the back for asking.”

Other firms continue to attract criticism, with HP praised for making a greener promise, and for making the “first step in catching up with Apple” in terms of making all its PC products toxic-free.

Dell and Lenovo each retain a penalty point for delaying their phase-out commitments indefinitely. Acer claims that it will still achieve its target for eliminating PVC and BFRs in all products by the end of this year. Meanwhile Toshiba has a timeline to phase out these toxic substances from all its products by the end of March 2010.

Nokia remains at the top of the ranking, with a score of 7.5 out of 10, followed by Samsung with 6.9, Sony Ericsson with 6.5 and Philips –- which leaps from 7th to 4th place — with 5.9 points. The other climber is Sony, rising from 12th to 8th place.

“We expect these powerful tech companies to stand by their claims and set examples of strong leadership for other industries to follow. It’s encouraging that Philips, Acer and Samsung support the levels of greenhouse emissions cuts required to stem dangerous climate change.”

However, Greenpeace does slate Apple slightly for failing to show climate leadership by taking a stand – a position we don’t agree with following Apple’s publication of its environmental data.

We anticipate good improvement in Apple’s green standing in the next Greenpeace report in three months time.

Apple’s publication of environmental information and Greenpeace’s response comes as HRH The Prince of Wales this week launched a global campaign to encourage a halt in destruction of the Amazon rain forests.

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