Electronics in the Greenpeace spotlight, some responsible business leaders and why climate change is still not big (enough) news

Electronics: 2010 starts with a push

Greenpeace is keeping up the name-and-fame, name-and-shame pressure on electronics firms.

The 14th edition of the campaigner’s Guide to Greener Electronics bigs up Apple, Sony Ericsson and Nokia for leading the way for product ranges free of the worst hazardous substances, with HP following their lead. HP recently released the Compaq 8000f Elite business desktop, its first completely PVC-free and BFR-free product, at CES 2010, the big consumer electronics show in Las Vegas.

Meanwhile Samsung, Dell, Lenovo and LG Electronics all pick up “penalty points” in the guide for failing to follow through on a promised phase-out of toxins in their products.

The companies coming at the lower end will not be pleased. Particularly Microsoft, which tries to pride itself on corporate citizenship. A wake-up call, perhaps?

Anyone for a temporary job?

EDF Energy is looking for a corporate responsibility director. The successful candidate can hope to earn £150,0000-£160,000. Not a bad wage. But who would want the job?

With a focus on coal, nuclear, implacable adversaries in the NGO community and ownership that involves the French state, is £160k enough? Not only that, but the lucky candidate will be reporting to Gordon Brown’s brother Andrew, who may soon be a little less influential when Labour loses the UK election in a few months’ time.

Who are your top sustainable business leaders?

Triple Pundit is calling for ideas on sustainable business leaders. The idea is based on the recent Harvard list of top-performing chief executives as measured by financial results.

Now Greenwasher doesn’t like pat comparisons of companies on complex corporate responsibility issues. The greenest/most ethical/most nice company lists have more methodological holes than a Swiss cheese peppered with a machine gun. But when it comes to a subjective view of individuals and leadership, without the pretend “science”, then it’s really interesting.

We’ve been wondering who we would put on a list of business leaders. Here are some ideas, not in any particular order.

To keep it relevant, all of these non-chief-executives were bosses of their firms until fairly recently or are still hugely influential.

Jeff Swartz, Timberland
Paul Polman, Unilever
Todd Stitzer, Cadbury
Jeffrey Hollender, Seventh Generation
Lars Rebien Sørensen, Novo Nordisk
Ray Anderson, Interface
Lee Scott, Wal-Mart
Richard Reed (co-CEO), Innocent
Irene Rosenfeld, Kraft
Anne Mulcahy, Xerox
Craig Sams, Green & Black’s
AG Lafley, Procter and Gamble
John Mackey, Whole Foods Market
Stephen Green, HSBC
Mark Parker, Nike
Mark Hurd, HP
Stuart Rose, Marks & Spencer
Ratan Tata, Tata Group
Akio Toyoda, Toyota
Juliet Davenport, Good Energy

OK, this list is very Anglo-Saxon-heavy and almost entirely male. Sorry about that.
Now it’s your turn. Who did Greenwasher miss? Who would you nominate? Email: greenwasher@ethicalcorp.com

Climate change in the US media: not yet on the big map

The Daily Climate (probably the best daily climate change newsletter) has recently looked at what impact climate change stories made in 2009 on the US news map.

The results are intriguing and not what you would think.

Despite the build-up to, and the events of, Copenhagen, the map might show us partly why real US political action on climate change is slow to come.

If it doesn’t register on the news map, does it matter to politicians? Clearly it does matter to many of them. But elections are still fought and won on other issues, if the 2009 US news map is anything to go by.

Got a story? Let us know at greenwasher@ethicalcorp.com.

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