Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Greenpeace ‘Cool IT’ update

Greenpeace - Greener Electronics Greenpeace has updated its Cool IT assessment, which scores IT companies on the extent to which they’re helping to tackle climate change.

I may not always see eye-to-eye with Greenpeace on IT (their intention is good but I sometimes have reservations about the execution) this is one process I very much support.  I’ve made my own views clear on the need for IT companies to make a contribution outside their own businesses and this is what Cool IT is all about. 

Companies are scored 50% on the extent to which they’re providing climate solutions to other parts of the economy, 35% is down to the extent to which IT companies are advocating and lobbying for a strong global climate deal to be brokered in Copenhagen and 15% measures how much companies are reducing their own carbon footprints, including using renewable energy.  (This was at least the scoring split for the initial assessment earlier this year – the web site is somewhat unclear this time round).


IBM, HP and Fujitsu come out in the top three places, compared with the last assessment in May, when the top three were IBM, with a score of 29, Sun (also 29) and Dell (21).  Greenpeace points out that no company scored more than 50 (out of 100), but the scores for the top three are a lot better than last time round, when they seemed unfairly low.

However, I agree with Greenpeace’s disappointed in the lack of leadership from the IT community; "Though the IT industry will profit from strong emissions reduction targets, disappointingly, it is not coming close to its potential of leading the way to a low carbon economy," said Melanie Francis, Greenpeace International Climate Campaigner. "IT giants like Microsoft, Google and IBM need to rapidly put their weight behind a strong deal at Copenhagen or the climate will lose out to dirty industry's negative lobbying."

In fact Greenpeace has started a petition on its web site calling on Google, IBM and Microsoft, as the largest and most influential IT players, to speak up for urgent climate action.

Among the comments made by Greenpeace in the assessment were:

• IBM maintains top spot on the leader board due to its extensive range of climate solutions and reducing its own emissions, although the company is only one point ahead of a much improved HP.

• Toshiba is providing more comprehensive information on how its climate solutions can reduce global emissions.

• Sharp stands out as the only Japanese company to indicate support for a strong emissions reduction target from the new Japanese Government. 

• The CEO of Ericsson has been making prominent speeches on the urgency of the climate change problem and the importance of Copenhagen.

• Apple is credited with its decision to leave the US Chamber of Commerce over the Chamber's stance on the US government’s efforts to address climate change.

• Whilst Google has set out plans to reduce emissions by 2030 it has not yet spoken up on the need for a strong global deal in Copenhagen.

• The leaders of Nokia, Dell, Microsoft and Sony, among others, remain silent on the most urgent issue facing the planet.

The number of companies included in the assessment has expanded since the first iteration, Google and Panasonic are both assessed for the first time for example, and several more companies are expected to be added for the next release early in 2010.

© The Green IT Review

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