On March 31st Greenpeace released its annual “guide to Greener Electronics” in an adorable easy to read meter format, which lists from 1 (worst) to 10 (best) a rating for the most green of the market leading electronics companies.
Guess who came in 1st place? Oops, that’s not first place that’s last place with a rating of one…. Actually at a score of 0.8 that puts Nintendo a little less than one to be dead last.
There are many sections of the report that Nintendo had no information for. Regarding E-waste Nintendo scored all zeros by not providing any system of voluntary take-back for used hardware or any reports on amounts of e-waste collected or recycled. Basically this means if and when anyone is done using their hardware Nintendo takes no responsibility for where those electronics go. But that shouldn’t be a big deal, because not many people have Nintendo hardware right now anyway, right?
They were tight lipped about things like amounts of renewable energy used, energy efficiency of new models, use of recycled plastics and timelines for increasing such usage. The company line is that they aim to reduce CO2 emissions by 2% over each previous year but in fact increased emissions by 6% in 2006 due to an increase in business.
To be fair companies like Microsoft didn’t fare much better with a 2.7 and Sony at 5.5 and they also deal in many other types of products.
This isn’t to say that GreenPeace is a definitive source for this type of measure of environmental accountability but the full report is a rather comprehensive and well organized document, and probably doesn’t look very good for any of them.
The question is, does this kind of report actually influence many consumers’ purchasing decisions? For many of us, no, but I think it’s worth considering the so-called ‘new’ market of ‘casual gamers’ that seem to be driving sales for Nintendo right now and what their priorities might be. The report also fails to note that many old Nintendo consoles are still in active use thanks to the huge 'retro' market.