The results in detail were as follows: just under three-quarters of the companies publish environmentally relevant information in separate reports or on their websites. Fourteen companies were able to point to an environmental management system. The environmental evaluation of products focussed above all on the composition of microelectronic components. “The use of substances like lead, mercury and cadmium is a problem here. They have been declared to be environmental contaminants, the adverse consequences of which come into effect when obsolete products are disposed of,” says Evelyn Bohle, the analyst responsible at oekom research. Nine companies have developed guidelines on undesirable component materials. However, these do not provide a comprehensive solution to the problem, but merely restrict the use of individual substances.
The conclusions arrived at in the report on social aspects make sobering reading. Only three of the companies draw up comprehensive social reports, while the large majority of the rest report piecemeal on isolated socio-cultural activities, covering areas such as sponsoring, for example. Many companies are dismantling their own production capacity and outsourcing production to low-wage countries such as China. Unfortunately, only a small number of companies were able to provide information about agreements in employment contracts there, and one would search almost in vain in the sector for compulsory standards for suppliers with regard to guaranteed minimum wages or maximum working hours.
The average score for the sector in the Corporate Responsibility Rating was a C. This result illustrates that many companies are failing to implement the principle of sustainability consistently in practice and still have a long way to go in terms of meeting their social responsibilities.
19 companies were analysed in the present Corporate Responsibility Rating:
Alcatel (FR), Cisco Systems (US), EMC (US), Epcos (DE), Ericsson (SE), Infineon (DE), Intel (US), Kyocera (JP), Lucent (US), Motorola (US), Nokia (FI), Nortel (CA), Qualcomm (US), Siemens (DE), Texas Instruments (US). Four companies did not provide sufficient information: 3COM (US), Broadcom (US), Lexmark (US), Tandberg Television (NO).