Computer makers clean up their manufacturing

Six computer and electronics companies today won plaudits for good environmental business practices from Portfolio 21, a mutual fund in Portland, Ore.

Cofounder Carsten Henningsen said in an analysts' teleconference that 11 companies in different industries worldwide have met the fund's requirement for being 'fully committed to sustainable business practices. It required bold new thinking to make their core strategies more efficient.'

Henningsen said the 11 companies embody three new manufacturing trends: no net contribution to global warming; envirometric, or 'green' accounting; and cradle-to-landfill responsibility for products.

The six computer companies are:

  • Advanced Micro Devices Inc. of Sunnyvale, Calif.

  • Dell Inc.

  • Hewlett-Packard Co.

  • IBM Corp.

  • STMicroelectronics of Carrollton, Texas

  • Xerox Corp.

Indigo Teiwes, the fund's sustainability analyst, cited Dell, HP, IBM and Xerox for lifecycle stewardship of their products.

She singled out IBM for taking back old peripherals as well as PCs and for setting up nine asset recovery centers worldwide. 'IBM has processed more than 51,000 metric tons of scrap and sent only 3.2 percent to landfill,' she said.

In the process of breaking down their products to recover parts, she said, makers gain knowledge of how to phase out use of toxic materials and waste less.

Teiwes said chipmaker STMicroelectronics has set a goal of no net carbon dioxide emissions by 2010. AMD in the same timeframe plans to halve its emissions of perfluorocarbons from chip etching, she said.

The Environmental Protection Agency on March 15 will recognize companies in all industries that have made contributions to environmental protection and energy efficiency. EPA set up its Energy Star program in 1992.


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