Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Green Apple?

You would think that with such a logo and its worldwide reputation Apple would be one of the greenest IT companies around. Well it's hard to say.

I have made the point several times that companies need to be transparent about what they're doing to make their organisations more environmentally friendly. A major, and probably the most significant forum for doing this is the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP).

CDP describes its mission as:"To collect and distribute high quality information that motivates investors, corporations and governments to take action to prevent dangerous climate change". It does this through gathering information from leading companies around the world and publishing it - in 2008 more than 3,700 companies responded. The CDP claims (and most would agree) that it "plays a vital role in encouraging private and public sector organisations to measure, manage and reduce emissions and climate change impacts".

Anyway, Apple did respond last year, although it's previous record was patchy, at best. However, the CDP has now developed something called the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI) which provides "...a valuable perspective on the range and quality of responses to CDP’s questionnaire". Companies are scored out of 100.

A quick browse of the web site reveals that the score for IBM was 92, Dell 91, HP 88, Microsoft 71, SAP 65, Oracle 61 and Google 58. Apples score was just 7 (seven). The CDP response provided by the company, such as it is, can be seen here.

I guess Apple's actual efforts to be greener are better than the CDP data suggests, but that's the point. If you don't publish information in an open, independent forum using accepted methodologies, then who knows?

The odd thing is that Al Gore is on Apple's Board, and has been for almost five years.

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