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Greening Your Website Information

Product information is critical to recycling, sustainable decisionmaking and community planning. Websites work!

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Green Information about Products = Marketing Strategy

The Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition 2003 Report Card "is based on the web sites of leading computer product manufacturers on the information they share with consumers about their environmental policies and the environmental features of their products…"

The Report Card is part of the Computer TakeBack Campaign that promotes 'clean and green' production and extended producer responsibility (EPR). Simply stated, EPR requires companies to take full financial and physical responsibility for their products throughout their life cycle, including end-of-life recycling, reuse, or disposal.

Example: Electronic Products

Frustrated with the lack of simple electronics recycling? Company information can help...especially when it is available online for 24/7 viewing.

We all have old electronics stored in our basements or closets waiting for the day we can easily recycle them. One can spend all day figuring out where to take e-waste, and once a recycling center is found, there is no guarantee that it will be safely recycled.

Solve the E-Waste Problem...Go Greener!

Up to 80% of U.S. e-waste is exported to developing countries where toxic components are burned, dumped or smashed apart by impoverished workers and children without proper protection or sent to U.S. prisons where inmates work without federally protected health, safety or labor rights.

Only 10% of unwanted and obsolete computers
are recycled responsibly.

Criteria for Evaluating Company Web Sites

The complexity of business and consumer choices necessitates that we take the "information age" to heart -- and we provide our vendors, customers, partners and community leaders with the information needed to make responsible decisions and take responsible action. The simplest way to make that information available today is the company website. Here are some guidelines for clear communication of environmental information about products and environmental cautions.

Extended Producer Responsibility

1. How are company take-back goals stated?

2. To what depth is the take-back program discussed on the company web site for individual customers?

3. To what depth is the take-back program discussed for corporate customers?

4. How are upgrade capabilities for products described?

5. How does the company report whether their products are under any private, product eco-labels?

6. Are products designed for recyclability and disassembly?

Hazardous Materials Use

1. How informative is explanatory regarding chemicals used in the manufacturing process?

2. Is there any information about the current reduction/phase out of PVC?

3. Is there any information about the current reduction/phase out of lead?

4. Is there any information about the current reduction/phase out of mercury?

5. Is there any information about the current reduction/phase out of halogenated flame retardants?

6. How are toxic material phase-out goals stated?

Occupational Health and Safety

1. How is information regarding injuries and illnesses differentiated?

2. How does the company monitor and report illnesses in their workforce?

3. How does the company monitor and report injuries in their workforce?

Online Information Access

1. Is all environmental/health information located within one place on the web site?

2. Is all environmental/health information made obvious from the homepage or the same web pages customers use for shopping?"

Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition
760 N. First Street
San Jose, CA 95112
Phone: 408-287-6707

Additional resources:

green business sustainability


PROBLEM: Complexity of choices often result in inaction

SOLUTION: Clear website information about products, disposal and takeback programs encourage and support recycling and responsible. waste management.

Edited by Carolyn Allen
| green marketing | green messaging | product development |


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