Thursday, 9 December 2010

Greenpeace has released the latest Cool IT Leadership Board

The latest version of Greenpeace’s Cool IT Leadership Board was released at the UNFCCC meeting in Cancun, Mexico yesterday.  The  Leadership Board is an evaluation of IT vendors’ ‘green’ performance based on:

• efforts to offer economy-wide technological climate solutions that contribute to global greenhouse gas reductions

• initiatives to reduce emissions from their own footprint

• active engagement in political advocacy and support for science based climate and energy policies.

Cisco and Ericsson remain at the top of the table with increased scores, but while both IBM and HP also increased their totals they were leapfrogged by Fujitsu and Google, who took third and fourth places respectively.

The most significant movers, though, (in a table with two new entrants – Oracle and Wipro) were Sony, up four places, Microsoft, down five places and SAP, down four places.


The full analysis is here, but perhaps the most interesting part is the changes in overall scores within the three areas. On a like-for-like basis the total scores for Climate Solutions and Energy Impact were up, i.e. overall the companies did better in these two aspects, with total scores up 23% and 52% respectively. But for political advocacy the score actually fell by 2%.

It was this advocacy aspect that was also the cause of most fluctuation in company scores and changes in the rankings. In its press release Greenpeace pointed out some of the factors involved:

  • Sony Europe joined Google to support the European Union's attempt to establish a target of 30% greenhouse gas emissions reduction by 2020, while Microsoft, Intel, and IBM received penalty points for being part of Business Europe’s opposition to the target.

  • Google, with support from Cisco and HP, helped to counter California's Proposition 23 ballot measure, which Greenpeace describes as a failed attempt by oil interests to derail the state's landmark global warming law, known as the ‘California Global Warming Solutions Act.’

  • Fujitsu scored high marks for its presentation of twelve specific climate and clean energy policy recommendations to the Japanese government, which is considering a law to reduce greenhouse gas emission 25% below 1990 levels by 2020. Apparently, the rest of the Japanese IT companies remained silent (and received a negative advocacy penalty) and the IT trade lobby JEITA opposed the draft legislation.


It’s the only ranking I’m aware of that attempts to assess IT companies on the extent to which they are actively involved in advocating green policy and legislation, and very valuable for that. If you really believe in climate change (and many IT companies are selling solutions based on that assumption) then stand up and be counted.

IT companies are going to be at the centre of action to address climate change so they have nothing to lose, but they can’t expect to be seen as green unless they actively support national and international action to address the problem.

© The Green IT Review

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