Greenpeace’s Fun with Graphs

Greenpeace has released the latest edition of its quarterly Guide to Greener Electronics. While I haven’t read the study in full and I don’t know exactly what goes in to determining the one through ten ranking that Greenpeace assigns to various famous tech companies, I did find their graph (see below) a little odd. Look how close together one to three are! Then look at the space between seven and ten–it’s half the graph! By making three numbers take up half the graph, a greening tech company can move quite a way across the “dial o’ green” if it moves from a seven to an eight, but a move from three to our doesn’t result in such a pronounced leap.

Adopting cleaner technology standards and practices is important, don’t get me wrong. But such a blatantly misleading graph makes me question the legitimacy of this entire quarterly report. Can we get some unbiased research into this area of tech please?

NOTE: I wasn’t clear in the original post just how manipulative these graphs are with the data. Fist, look at past graphs by clicking on the version numbers underneath the word ‘Version’ in the lower left corner of the graph to view past graphs. While older versions show a rank of 5 as the midpoint of the graph, the most recent graph shows a rank of 7 as the midpoint. This way, companies that have actually gotten greener appear to be back-sliding.