Greenpeace Does Green Slapdown To Dell Over Computer Chemicals

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Dell has provided EarthTechling with a detailed response to Greenpeace’s allegations. You can read the computer manufacturer’s comments here.]

Greenpeace has called out Dell in a big way for not yet explaining how it plans to end its use of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) in its products by a promised 2011 deadline. This singling out of a company Greenpeace says is trying to call itself “the greenest technology company on the planet” is the major highlight in the non-profit’s latest Guide to Greener Electronics.

Greenpeace, to hammer home to Dell its desire to see the computer company clean up its products, scaled Dell’s corporate headquarters to hang a banner with a message directed at CEO Michael Dell saying “Michael, What the Dell? Design Out Toxics.” It also took out TV spots in Austin – Dell’s backyard – on several channels, including MTV and ESPN. These spots (which you can view below) call upon local residents to pressure Dell to follow through on its promise.

Greenpeace Dell

image via Greenpeace

In other notes from the 15th version of its green electronics guide, Greenpeace gives kudos to Apple and HP for having new computer lines that are free of PVC and BFRs, as well as noting that Samsung and Toshiba slipped in ranking because of their “backtracking on their public commitments to eliminate toxic substances from their products.” Nokia continues to sit at the head of the class in terms of being greenest, while Nintendo continues to drag behind in the rear.

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I am the editor-in-chief and founder for EarthTechling. This site is my desire to bring the world of green technology to consumers in a timely and informative matter. Prior to this my previous ventures have included a strong freelance writing career and time spent at Silicon Valley start ups.

    • Michelle at Dell

      Michelle at Dell here.

      Dell is committed to integrating the most environmentally preferable materials into our products.

      We have always been committed to eliminating BFR/PVC from our products, and we plan to achieve that goal by the end of 2011 for newly introduced personal computing products. This task presents challenges, but we’re working closely with our suppliers to find reliable, environmentally preferable alternatives that maintain the performance standards our customers require.

      We already deliver some BFR/PVC-free or -reduced products today. Our G-series monitors, for example, are free of PVC, BFR, arsenic and mercury; their chassis is made of 25%+ recycled materials; and they’re EPEAT Gold certified.

      Building greener products is just one aspect of Dell’s commitment to environmental responsibility, in addition to our free, convenient consumer recycling programs; our ban on exporting e-waste; designing more sustainable packaging and operating responsibly.

      Thanks for the opportunity to discuss.