Alternative Energy

Published on May 5th, 2010 | by Zachary Shahan


Greenpeace Ranks IT Companies

Every company is claiming to be green in some way or another these days. For someone not versed in green matters, or even for many of us who think we are versed in it but actually may not be (at least on some issues), identifying who is truly green and who is not can be really difficult (or inaccurate).

As much as environmental issues can be complicated and confusing, environmental issues concerning technology can be even more so. Can you say which is a greener IT company, Dell or Google or HP? Probably not. Luckily, Greenpeace has decided to tackle this issue and rank IT companies according to how green they are.

As far as looking into the complete environmental record of a company or finding out hidden info, few are as good as Greenpeace. Of course, even for Greenpeace, it isn’t a piece of cake. A lot of information (e.g. amount of greenhouse gas emissions) is not available for many companies or not reported in the same way.

Nonetheless, giving it their best shot, the following is Greenpeace’s ranking of major IT companies according to their work to be green, not just their words.

Image Credit: Greenpeace Greenpeace's Cool IT Leaderboard

Greenpeace’s Cool IT Leaderboard

Cisco, due to highly effective greenhouse gas solutions, smart grid technology and office energy management, is a surprising leader in the field now. It doubled its score from Greenpeace’s previous ranking in this one.

“To play a significant role in helping make sure global greenhouse gas emissions peak by 2015, IT companies need to deliver upon the promise that their technology can provide substantial climate savings today,” said Greenpeace Campaigner Casey Harrell. “Leaders such as Cisco are actively investing in climate solutions, while others are merely signaling commitments, hoping that lofty words are as good as action.”

Google, which came in sixth, is one I would have expected to have a higher ranking, but the reasons for it not coming in higher are clear. Despite strong political advocacy for clean energy and its own efforts to develop breakthrough solar energy and smart grid technology, Google has not set any emissions targets of its own and does not release or disclose its own emissions.

“This lack of transparency puts Google significantly out of step with most other technology companies, and weakens its ability to be an effective advocate,” Greenpeace reports.

Agree with these rankings? Have other info you would like to share? Comment below.

For more information, visit the Greenpeace Cool It Leader Board or Greenpeace press release.

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to and click on the relevant buttons.

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