Greenpeace has published the latest version of its Cool IT Leader Board, which I’ve reported on in the past (see the comments last October). What I like about this assessment is the coverage; to use Greenpeace’s own words “The Cool IT leaderboard evaluates company performance on their efforts to offer economy-wide technological climate solutions that contribute to global greenhouse gas reductions, initiatives to reduce emissions from their own footprint, and their active engagement in political advocacy and support for science based climate and energy policies”. This is a much broader assessment than Greenpeace’s more product focused ‘Greener Electronics’ rankings. In particular, the emphasis on political advocacy is something I’ve been banging on about for some time.
The last time that Greenpeace published the leader board the rankings were presented alongside the names of the CEO’s of the respective companies, which I think was a good thing, since these initiatives really have to come from the top to be effective. This time round, though, we just get a score. Companies are scored out of 100 - 50% on the extent to which they’re providing climate solutions, 35% on their engagement in political advocacy for climate change policy and 15% on the extent to which they are reducing their own carbon footprints.
Cisco vaults to the top of the (alphabetically-ordered) Leader Board, overtaking IBM, HP, Fujitsu and Google. According to Greenpeace, the company doubled its score by demonstrating the effectiveness of its greenhouse emissions-saving solutions, including smart grid technology and office energy management.
Ericsson enters the rankings in second place, ‘on the strength of its real world case studies, which measure how its solutions are driving down emissions’.
Overall the scores seem to have improved – the top 10 averaged a score of 29.8 last time and 37.5 this time, but apart from Cisco and Ericsson, scores were little changed – IBM, HP and Intel down one point, Google up one, Fujitsu up three. In fact Microsoft was the third best performer, up from a score of 23 last time to 31 this.
Greenpeace did highlight some example of what it saw as IT solutions leadership including:
-Cisco’s aggressive move to drive smart grid technology
-Google’s PowerMeter smart meter tool
-The fact that both Ericsson and Fujitsu have developed a strong methodology for measuring net impact of their solutions.
Greenpeace praised Google for its top score for political advocacy and it has certainly been clear to me that the company has been active on a number of fronts. But Greenpeace also rightly criticises Google for a lack of emission reduction targets or any disclosure of its own emissions (it’s CDP response is dismal). Transparency is critical and Google’s non-disclosure seriously undermines the company’s effectiveness as an advocate for more action on climate change and its overall green ICT approach.