Nokia, Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Sharp have some of the best environmental practices of IT suppliers, according to a survey from fund management firm Isis.
IT users are increasingly likely to take account of the environmental practices of their suppliers ahead of the European Union's Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive on the disposal of IT waste, which comes into effect next month.
The WEEE Directive applies to all IT equipment and is aimed at reducing waste through the re-use and recycling of kit. Producers and resellers will be required to identify parts that can be recycled and end-users will be responsible for ensuring waste is recycled properly.
Claudia Kruse, an analyst in the governance and socially responsible investment at Isis, said, "Such issues are already becoming important for enterprises in the US, and judging by the enquiries we have had for this report, the UK will follow."
Although Siemens came bottom of the survey, a company spokeswoman said this was because it refused a face-to-face interview with Isis.
"We directed Isis to our previously published materials covering the issues on our website. The company has been praised by a Dow Jones sustainability and the environment report," she said.
Kruse said similar studies could follow on phone companies and network equipment firms.
Chris Tuppen, head of sustainable development and corporate accountability at BT, said, "This is a timely overview of the supplier issues IT companies are facing."
The league table
The chasing pack
On the starting grid