Motorola, Inc., along with the Arizona Water Co. has been identified as the sources of trichloroethylene (TCE) contamination that took place in Scottsdale, Arizona. The malfunction led to a ban on the use of water that lasted three days and affected almost 5000 people in the area. Motorola was found to be the main source of the TCE, an industrial solvent that is thought to cause cancer. The TCE contamination was caused by a faulty blower on an air stripping tower that was used to take TCE from the water, and Motorola has attributed the situation to operator error.
Of eighteen leading electronics manufacturers in Greenpeace’s Guide to Greener Electronics (October 2010), Motorola shares sixth place with competitors Panasonic and Sony).
Motorola scores relatively well on the chemicals criteria and has a goal to eliminate PVC vinyl plastic and brominated flame retardants (BFRs), though only in mobile devices and not in all its products introduced after 2010, despite the fact that Sony Ericsson and Nokia are already there. All of its mobile phones are now PVC-free and it has two PVC and BFR-free mobile phones, the A45 ECO and the GRASP; all chargers are also free from PVC and BFRs.
The company is also increasing the proportion of recycled materials that used in its products. For example, the housings for the MOTO W233 Renew and MOTOCUBO A45 Eco mobile phones contain plastic from post-consumer recycled water cooler bottles. According to the company’s information, all of Motorola’s newly designed chargers meet the current Energy Star requirements and exceed the requirements for standby/no-load modes by at least 67%.