Greenpeace is smacking Microsoft and Nintendo for using toxic chemicals in their video game consoles, while applauding longtime target Apple for improving its green credentials. But the group's latest quarterly ranking of electronics vendors, issued Nov. 27, in the thick of holiday shopping, also spotlights the difficulty in measuring the environmental impact of such products--and raises questions about whether customers really care.
Greenpeace's sixth "Guide to Greener Electronics" ranked Nintendo (NTDOY) last among 18 companies, criticizing the Japanese company for its failure to offer a recycling program for its old video game consoles or disclose any information about chemicals used to make its hot-selling Wii machine. Microsoft (MSFT), another newcomer to the list, ranked 16th for setting a comparatively late date of 2011 for eliminating the use of toxic plastics and flame retardants from its hardware, which includes its Xbox game machine and Zune digital music player.
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