Greenpeace International yesterday issued a report giving technology giants Samsung Electronics, Amazon and Huawei, as well as Taiwanese firms Acer and Asustek Computer, failing marks for their environmental impact.
The survey of 17 major electronic device manufacturers, published as the “Guide to Greener Electronics” (www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/detox/electronics/Guide-to-Greener-Electronics) evaluated the companies according to their performance in energy transformation, resource depletion and management of chemical materials.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the introduction of the Apple’s iPhone, which provides a good opportunity for people to reflect on the environmental responsibility of electronics manufacturers, Greenpeace Taiwan Rethink IT project manager Lee Chih-an (李之安) told a news conference in Taipei.
Consumption of electronic gadgets leads to higher carbon emissions and a worsened environment, since major electronics brands have their manufacturing bases in Asian nations where electricity is generated mainly by coal-fired plants, Lee said.
Electronics are often made difficult to maintain and repair, leading to more waste, and the survey is aimed at encouraging people to choose more durable and “greener” products, she said.
No manufacturer earned an “A” grade in the survey, but the Netherlands-based Fairphone came out on top with a “B” for using recycled metals where others generally use plastic materials.
Fairphone’s products also feature modular designs, which allow for easier repair and upgrading, Lee said.
Apple earned a “B-” for its attempts at sustainability.
However, it still needs to improve its product design, given most of its products are difficult to repair and maintain, Lee said.
Amazon earned an “F,” Huawei a “D” and Samsung a “D-” for lack of attention to carbon emissions and not embracing renewable energy, the survey said.
Acer earned a “D+” and Asustek Computer a “D,” with Lee citing Acer’s solar power plant in Taoyuan’s Longtan District (龍潭) that opened in August and its promise to cut carbon emissions at its global subsidiaries by 60 percent by 2020 for its slightly better grade.
It is time Taiwan’s manufacturers and recyclers develop new industrial models, she said.
Additional reporting by staff writer
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
‘RELIABLE PARTNER’: US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar praised the ‘Taiwan model,’ saying that the nation brought its spirit to its COVID-19 response The first memorandum of understanding (MOU) on health cooperation between the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the US Department of Health and Human Services was yesterday signed at the Centers for Disease Control in Taipei. The memorandum was signed between the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US, by AIT Director Brent Christensen and Taiwan Council for US Affairs Chairperson Jen-ni Yang (楊珍妮). US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) witnessed the signing of the memorandum, designed to enhance the nations’
NEW CASE REPORTED: A man who returned from South Africa on a flight with the nation’s 460th and 461st cases has now tested positive for the disease The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that there is no need to test all arrivals to the nation for COVID-19, a policy the Executive Yuan supports. The center reported one new imported case, bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 477. The new case is a Taiwanese man in his 60s who on July 25 returned from South Africa, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is also the CECC’s spokesman. The man had returned to Taiwan on the same flight as cases Nos. 460 and 461, reported on July 27, Chuang said. On July 24,
Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) yesterday tweeted a welcome to Somaliland’s first representative to Taiwan, Mohamed Omar Hagi Mohamoud, who arrived on Friday. Mohamoud had “braved Chinese pressure” to take up his new post, Wu wrote. “The fact ‘sovereignty & friendship aren’t for sale’ deserves international recognition,” referring to a Somaliland media report earlier this month that Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi had rejected an offer by the Chinese government in exchange for ending its rapprochement with Taiwan. Wu also thanked the US National Security Council (NSC) for praising Taiwan-Somaliland ties. A council tweet on July 10 praised Taiwan