Google has scored the highest in a Greenpeace report that ranks IT companies on their efforts to combat climate change and shift to renewable energy sources.
Greenpeace's Cool IT Leaderboard, now up to its 5th version, ranks 21 companies across three areas: Climate Solutions, Energy Impact and Political Advocacy. It is part of Greenpeace’s wider campaign to challenge the IT industry to use its innovate skills and ingenuity to lead the way to scalable solutions aimed to reduce global emissions. Some of the 21 companies evaluated included Dell, IBM, Microsoft, and HP.
Greenpeace said Google’s top spot on the Leaderboard was the first time for the company. It scored particularly well for its political advocacy work and for sourcing renewable energy to its infrastructure, Greenpeace said.
“Google's commitment to transparency, new investments in clean energy solutions, and success in powering a significant percentage of its operations with renewable energy is what we expect to see from leading IT companies,” said Greenpeace International IT analyst Gary Cook.
“Given their rapidly increasing energy demand, these companies must work to change the rules needed to drive greater investments in clean technology and renewable energy deployment,” Cook said.
Google’s top ranking was followed by Cisco in second place and Ericsson in third. Greenpeace said highlights from the Leaderboard included Cisco, Ericsson, and Fujitsu in the solutions criteria for providing detailed case studies of how their unique technology was creating pathways towards significant emissions reductions. Google, Cisco and Dell also stood out for sourcing 20 per cent renewable energy globally for each company’s infrastructure.
Greenpeace said the single greatest example of political leadership came from the Japanese telecommunications firm Softbank, which had leapt to the vanguard of the debate in post-Fukushima Japan in demanding a rapid shift to renewable energy and away from nuclear power, earning the highest score ever received for political advocacy leadership.
But Greenpeace said the overall picture outlined in the Leaderboard demonstrated a lack of commitment to aggressively pursuing the business opportunities associated with clean energy solutions, combined with a significant drop off in policy advocacy leadership.
"Overall this is a sector that considers itself forward thinking, yet the majority are standing quiet while dirty energy companies exert undue influence on the political process and financial markets," Cook said.
The 2012 Cool IT Leaderboard was released today in New Delhi, India, at a business roundtable organised by Greenpeace and Cybermedia India Online, which focuses on how renewable energy can power Indian business growth.
Read more about the Greenpeace Cool IT Leaderboard.