updated 4/4/2007 11:55:32 AM ET 2007-04-04T15:55:32

Greenpeace International ranked Apple Inc. last in environmental friendliness among major electronics makers, while it praised Lenovo Group Ltd. for bucking trends in China.

Greenpeace spokeswoman Iza Kruszewska said Apple has been willing to meet legal requirements and basic standards, but it hasn't stopped using several types of harmful chemicals in its manufacturing.

Apple spokeswoman Sheryl Seitz rejected the environmental group's ranking system.

"Apple has a strong environmental track record and has led the industry in restricting and banning toxic substances such as mercury, cadmium and hexavalent chromium, as well as many BFRs," or brominated flame retardants, Seitz said.

According to standards developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Apple products are not especially toxic.

The Green Electronics Council, funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, generally gave Apple better scores than Lenovo and Dell Inc. based on 23 criteria established by the IEEE, including materials used, energy conservation and packaging.

Greenpeace's rankings of 14 computer and mobile phone makers were based on their use of hazardous chemicals in production and efforts to recycle broken or obsolete devices.

Tom van Dyck, whose As You Sow organization promotes socially responsible investing, said Greenpeace's analysis was generally fair.

Lenovo replaced Nokia Inc. at the top of the list. Kruszewska said Lenovo was the first major electronics manufacturer to offer all customers the opportunity to give back computers for recycling. She said the Chinese company was bucking the tide in China, which has become a dumping ground for hazardous electronics.

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