Rating 18 of the world's major consumer electronics companies on their environmental credentials in their latest "Guide to Greener Electronics," Greenpeace praised Sony Ericsson and Nokia for recycling, energy efficiency and phasing out hazardous substances.

Finnish Nokia took the top spot and Swedish-Japanese Sony Ericsson came second. Philips was in third place followed by Motorola and Apple. Greenpeace delivered "shame points" negatively to Samsung, Dell, Lenovo, LG Electronics and Toshiba because they had reneged on milieu promises.

Climbing in ratings in this edition were Panasonic from 10th to 6th, Sony from 7th to 6th (tied with Panasonic), HP from 11th to 8th and Sharp from 13th to 9th.

A benchmark in the ratings entailed ending use of highly toxic dioxins that are released when collectors of electronic waste in developing countries burn PVC cables to recover the copper inside or cook circuit boards in acid to recover gold. Elimination of PVC and brominated flame retardants stops the exporting of electronic waste from rich countries to poorer countries.

Its encouraging to see several companies grasping the urgent need for legislation that would enable the complete removal of these substances, said Greenpeace researcher Iza Kruszewska.