Google and Cisco have been recognised as the IT industry’s greenest firms in an annual report by Greenpeace, which cited the firm’s innovative approaches to cleaner and smarter energy use.
The Cool IT Leaderboard report from Greenpeace, now in its sixth year, ranks 21 major technology firms on three main criteria: one, their offerings to customers that can help reduce energy use, their own energy footprints, and use of influence to advocate government’s pursue green policies.
On these merits Cisco and Google both scored a combined total of 58 from 100, with Greenpeace praising numerous aspects of their strategies.
Google’s clean energy investments, now topping $1bn since 2010, illustrate that corporations can play an important role in providing a new and much needed source of capital to the renewable energy sector, it said of Google in its report.
“Google’s continued strong leadership in making clean energy investments has not only driven significant deployments of renewable energy, but also enhanced its standing as a credible corporate advocate for stronger clean energy and climate policies.”
Cisco was similarly praised, although it was urged to do more in lobbying US politicians to make green issues a stronger priority, with most political work by the firm done in Europe and the UK.
“Cisco earns top marks for its increased leadership in addressing its growing energy footprint, with an update to its greenhouse gas (GHG) and renewable energy targets, along with a performance-based commitment to direct its growth toward cleaner sources of electricity and away from coal,” Greenpeace said in its report.
“Cisco scored higher for its policy advocacy leadership than it did last year, but nearly all of its advocacy occurred in the EU - particularly the UK - while being nearly non-existent in the US and even its home state of California. Cisco needs to demonstrate much stronger advocacy leadership in its home market.”
V3 contacted both Cisco and Google for comment on the listings in the report but had received no reply at the time of publication.
Other notable firms in the report include Microsoft, which rose to 12th, IBM in 11th and HP in 7th, while Toshiba and Hitachi entered the report at the bottom.
Major firms such as Apple, Facebook, and Amazon are not included in the Leaderboard because “their operations are not broad enough to be compared to companies who offer energy solutions to climate change as core aspects of their business models,” Greenpeace explained.
Nevertheless, the campaign group noted the good work taking place at firms like Facebook as is strives for low energy use with the recent plans for a $1bn green datacenter in Iowa hitting the headlines.
[Facebook’s] announcement yesterday that it would build its next datacentre in wind energy-rich Iowa is evidence of how forward-thinking technology companies can bring clean energy to the grid,” it added.
The report comes in the same week that Samsung was forced to reassess its use of tin within its manufacturing processes after a report by Friends of the Earth cited the damage being caused to populations in Indonesia by excessive mining.
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