New rating – Leaders in the IT industry

08/02/2012 / Kaj

The latest Cool IT Leaderboard ranks 21 IT companies on their clean energy leadership potential, willingness to embrace clean energy solutions and potential to influence energy decisions. Google topped the table for its clear support of stronger US clean energy policy and the strengthening of the EU’s current 20% greenhouse gas target of 30% by 2020.

“Technology giants have a real opportunity to use their power and influence to change how we produce and use energy – Google tops the table because it’s putting its money where its mouth is by pumping investment into renewable energy”, said Greenpeace International IT analyst Gary Cook. “The IT sector might like to consider itself forward-thinking, but it is keeping far too quiet while the dirty energy industry continues to exert undue influence on both the political process and financial markets”.

The rapid expansion of global telecom infrastructure and data centres that power the ‘Cloud’ (2) is driving significant energy demand in many sectors, much of it from dirty sources such as coal and diesel (3).  While Google ranks high on the Leaderboard thanks to both its political advocacy and sourcing of renewable energy, Japanese telecommunications company Softbank has received the Leaderboard’s highest political advocacy score ever for its post-Fukushima Japan, demand for a rapid shift towards renewable energy and away from nuclear power. Google, Cisco, and Dell all stand out for sourcing over 20% renewable energy globally for each company’s infrastructures.  Oracle received the lowest ranking overall due to failing to disclose either renewable or dirty energy use.

Six telecommunications companies were added since the latest version (6), along with major IT software and equipment brands from India and Japan (7).  Overall, while the Greenpeace ranking found a steady increase in the quantity and strength of renewable energy solutions from many companies such as Cisco, IBM, Ericsson and Fujitsu, it also found a significant drop-off in policy advocacy leadership by IT companies (8).

“The IT industry must use its influence, innovative spirit and technological know-how to overcome the dirty energy companies who are holding on to the status quo, and holding us back from a transition to a renewable energy economy”, said Cook. “What we’re seeing is a lot of talk from companies about moving toward clean energy, but so far, not much of action”.

Apple & Facebook, two of the sector’s most influential brands, have not been included in this year’s Leaderboard  Apple was not included because its efforts do not meet the Leaderboard criteria;

It has  not demonstrated leadership or elected to pursue market opportunities to drive IT energy solutions that many of its competitors have, despite record profits and large cash reserves.  Facebook was not included in the previous Leaderboard for similar reasons, but has recently changed its policies and committed to a renewably powered Facebook (9), and announced a partnership with Opower to use the Facebook platform to help its users compare their energy usage.  Facebook will be included in next year’s Leaderboard (10).

The Cool IT Leaderboard was released today in New Delhi, India, at a business roundtable organised by Greenpeace and Cybermedia India Online (11), which focuses on how renewable energy can power Indian business growth.

The Leaderboard is part of Greenpeace’s wider campaign (12) to challenge the IT industry to use its innovative skills and ingenuity to lead the way to scalable solutions aimed to reduce global emissions.

The 5th version of the Leaderboard is available at: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/cool-it-leaderboard-5

Contacts:

Greenpeace International 24 press desk hotline +31 20 718 24 70

Media requests: Caroline Jacobsson, Greenpeace International Communications Manager (the Netherlands), mobile: +32 (6) 21296896, email: caroline.jacobsson@greenpeace.org

Gary Cook, Greenpeace International IT analyst (San Francisco), mobile: +1 (202) 2972370, email:gary.cook@greenpeace.org

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