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Greenpeace Ranks Best Companies in ICT

Words by Akhila Vijayaraghavan
Energy & Environment

Following on the heels of the Green Electronics Ranking, today Greenpeace released the fifth version of its Cool IT Leaderboard. This ranks and evaluates global IT companies on their leadership in the fight to reduce global carbon emissions.

Greenpeace started evaluating ICT brands through its Leaderboard in 2009, primarily to identify those companies that are making an effort to drive change in the energy sector. The Leaderboard also examines how the companies use their influence to change government policies regarding clean energy.

According to the report: "The fifth version sees a steady increase in the quantity and strength of energy solutions offerings from many companies such as Cisco, IBM, Ericsson and Fujitsu, we also see a significant reduction in policy advocacy to change the rules to drive investment in clean technology and renewable energy deployment.

The rankings in order of great to pretty good (since all these companies are praisworthy) are as follows:

  1. Google

  2. Cisco

  3. Ericsson

  4. Fujitsu

  5. Vodafone

  6. Alcatel-Lucent

  7. Sharp

  8. Softbank

  9. IBM

  10. HP

  11. Wipro

  12. Dell

  13. Microsoft

  14. SAP

  15. at&t

  16. HCL

  17. NTT

  18. NEC

  19. Telefonica

  20. TCS

  21. Oracle

The companies in the Leaderboard were evaluated in three key areas:

  • Efforts to offer economy-wide technological climate solutions that contribute to global greenhouse gas reductions

  • Initiatives to reduce their own global warming emissions

  • Active engagement in political advocacy and support for science-based climate and energy policies

Each of these had a separate score that made up a portion of 100 points. For example, climate solutions make up 40 points out of 100 and these 40 points are made up of several sub-criteria like current savings calculation (20 points) and public metrics (10 points). Through this method, they calculated the company with the highest points in terms of overall energy energy savings, and with its continued investments in renewable energy, Googleranked the highest.

Softbank has done a lot of work on the policy front, calling for a transition away from nuclear power. Policy work was one of the key reasons the company made the Leaderboard for the first time.

Google, Cisco, and Dell all stood out for sourcing a minimum of 20 percent renewable energy

Greenpeace's goal with this ranking is to encourage companies to source energy efficient ICT products from these leading companies. As the ICT supply chain is heavily concentrated in Southeast Asia, there is a significant amount of 'dirty energy' that goes into the manufacture of these products. The Leaderboard also tracks those companies that report high emissions in their supply chains and are working to manage them. The highest scoring companies in this criterion include, HP, Dell and Sharp."

Greenpeace is particularly concerned about the IT sector due to the rapid expansion of telecom infrastructure and data centers that power the cloud. These are mostly run with energy derived from non-renewable sources such as coal. Their recent campaign against Facebook highlights this issue. Many brands are beginning to take energy sourcing seriously and are taking steps to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels and have made the commitment towards using renewable sources for their electricity needs.

Image Credit: Greenpeace © Cool IT Leaderboard, ver. 5. 

Acknowledgement: Thanks to Shayna Samuels, Ripple Strategies. 

Akhila Vijayaraghavan

Akhila is the Founding Director of GreenDen Consultancy which is dedicated to offering business analysis, reporting and marketing solutions powered by sustainability and social responsibility. Based in the US, Europe, and India, the GreenDen's consultants share the best practices and innovation from around the globe to achieve real results. She has previously written about CSR and ethical consumption for Justmeans and hopes to put a fresh spin on things for this column. As an IEMA certified CSR practitioner, she hopes to highlight a new way of doing business. She believes that consumers have the immense power to change 'business as usual' through their choices. She is a Graduate in Molecular Biology from the University of Glasgow, UK and in Environmental Management and Law. In her free-time she is a voracious reader and enjoys photography, yoga, travelling and the great outdoors. She can be contacted via Twitter @aksvi and also http://www.thegreenden.net

Read more stories by Akhila Vijayaraghavan