Google Tops Cool IT Climate Ranking

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OK, full disclosure, I’m a huge Google fan. I love Google+, Gmail, Google Docs, Google Reader,.. and have you ever tried to do a search in something other than Google?! Additionally, it’s a clear clean energy leader. So, I’m both happy and not surprised at all to see that it is topping Greenpeace’s latest Cool IT ranking of IT companies,… based on how green they are, of course.

Greenpeace released the 5th edition of its Cool IT Leaderboard today, February 8 (India time, since it was released in New Delhi, India). The analysis evaluates 21 major IT companies, and it’s the first time Google has topped the list.

google tops cool it greenpeace ranking

You can see in the graphic above that it Google got big points for its energy impact. No doubt, this was largely due to the numerous big investments it has made in solar and wind energy. It was no laggard in the other two categories either, though (compared to other companies, that is). “Google topped the table for its clear support of stronger US clean energy policy and the strengthening of the EU’s current 20% greenhouse gas target of 30% by 2020,” Greenpeace writes. I imagine it also got some points for its support of geothermal energy research in the US.

“Technology giants have a real opportunity to use their power and influence to change how we produce and use energy – Google tops the table because it’s putting its money where its mouth is by pumping investment into renewable energy,” said Greenpeace International IT analyst Gary Cook. “The IT sector might like to consider itself forward-thinking, but it is keeping far too quiet while the dirty energy industry continues to exert undue influence on both the political process and financial markets.”

Yep, I know we all love our new technologies, but the IT industry really needs to step it up in this regard. A big thanks to Greenpeace for making this push.

Some More IT 2012 Leaders

Overall, Google is the clear winner. But, a couple of other companies led in certain sectors.

  • “Japanese telecommunications company Softbank has received the Leaderboard’s highest political advocacy score ever for its post-Fukushima Japan, demand for a rapid shift towards renewable energy and away from nuclear power.”
  • “Google, Cisco, and Dell all stand out for sourcing over 20% renewable energy globally for each company’s infrastructures.”

Meanwhile, Oracle was a huge flop, receiving the lowest ranking overall for not supplying any info on its renewable or dirty energy use. Also, notably absent is a certain company with the odd name of Apple and the world-leading social networking site Facebook (heard of that one?).

Greenpeace explains:

Apple was not included because its efforts do not meet the Leaderboard criteria;

It has  not demonstrated leadership or elected to pursue market opportunities to drive IT energy solutions that many of its competitors have, despite record profits and large cash reserves.


Facebook was not included in the previous Leaderboard for similar reasons, but has recently changed its policies and committed to a renewably powered Facebook (9), and announced a partnership with Opower to use the Facebook platform to help its users compare their energy usage.  Facebook will be included in next year’s Leaderboard (10).

Looking forward to seeing how it’s ranked.

Drop in Advocacy

I was expecting this—I haven’t seen almost anything in the news about IT climate advocacy this past year, and Greenpeace took note of that, commenting that it “found a significant drop-off in policy advocacy leadership by IT companies.”

“The IT industry must use its influence, innovative spirit and technological know-how to overcome the dirty energy companies who are holding on to the status quo, and holding us back from a transition to a renewable energy economy,” said Cook. “What we’re seeing is a lot of talk from companies about moving toward clean energy, but so far, not much of action.”

You can see in the graphic at the top that the overall rankings had these companies as the top 10:

1. Google
2. Cisco
3. Ericcson & Fujitsu (tie)
5. Vodafone
6. Alcatel-Lucent
7. Sharp & Softbank (tie)
9. Microsoft
10. HP

Source: Greenpeace

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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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