Monday, 25 October 2010

ICT companies’ green performance

Last week Newsweek announced its US and global rankings of green companies, based on environmental impact, green policies and their green reputation.

In the ranking of the top 500 green companies in the US, ICT companies performed well with seven of the top ten companies. Dell, HP and IBM led the market, with Intel, Sprint Nextel, Adobe and Yahoo! not far behind. Accenture, AMD and Cisco only just miss a top ten place.

The picture is a little different in the global 100 list. IBM comes out on top with Deutsche Telekom and Toshiba the only other top-ten ranked players. Mobile phone companies Vodafone, NTT and Nokia are also prominent in the rankings. But it does seem that some of the US companies are confining their green efforts primarily to the US – Dell, Adobe and Yahoo! don’t appear in the global 100.

Coincidentally, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released its latest ranking of the top green power purchasers in the US, which was also led by an IT company. Intel leads the list with over 1.4 billion kWh of green electricity purchased in the last year, 50% of the company’s power usage. Dell was in fifth place with 431 million kWh of green energy purchased, accounting for 129% of its electricity needs, with Cisco the only other IT company in the top-ten at 7th place.

 

The Newsweek rankings are interesting because they show how much ICT companies are doing to be seen as green, although it’s regrettable that much of that focus seems to be in the US. It’s a global issue that needs to be addressed globally.

As for the EPA’s rankings of green power purchases, well the rankings are based on buying renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), on-site generation and purchasing green power products from utilities. It’s good for encouraging the development of renewable energy, but RECS tend to distort the market, effectively paying for the extra cost of renewable generation, rather than for the power itself. Hence Dell’s purchase of 129% of it’s needs. But then again, with green power in short supply there wouldn’t be enough to go round anyway.

© The Green IT Review

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