April 29, 2013
Cisco, Google Share Top Spot on Cool IT Leaderboard
by Robert Kropp
The sixth edition of the Greenpeace ranking of companies in the information technology sector
focuses on political advocacy for effective climate change legislation.
Greenpeace has been publishing its Cool IT
Leaderboard through six editions now, ranking companies in the information technology (IT)
sector according to their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and advocate for
meaningful legislation addressing climate change.
"This will be a critical year in
many countries to determine whether there will be a meaningful break in the status quo energy
policies," Greenpeace states, and because of that the environmental advocacy organizations says it
will update its ranking of IT companies according to their advocacy efforts throughout the year.
"This Leaderboard shows an increased assessment of negative lobbying penalty points for IT
companies who support front groups or trade associations that are actively working to undermine
government policies to address climate change and promote renewable energy investments," Greenpeace
adds. "The sector still lacks leadership in demanding the policy changes needed to drive investment
in clean technology and renewable energy deployment."
While companies in the IT sector are
not among those that have the highest direct impacts on climate change, the energy demands within
the sector are rapidly increasing as global telecom infrastructures and data centers powering cloud
computing expand. Also, information technology is crucial for companies in other sectors in their
efforts to measure and manage their emissions reduction strategies.
This year's edition of
the Leaderboard features Cisco and Google tied for first in the rankings. Cisco was cited for its
"recent adoption of performance-based goals for its facilities, defined by the emissions factor of
the local electricity." Google, Greenpeace states, "continues to pursue a number of different
strategies to secure more renewable energy by directly purchasing it wherever possible."
Google finished first in last year's rankings, thanks in large part to its disclosure of energy
usage. Cisco ranked first in 2010.
Oracle and Tata Communication Services, on the other
hand, "have been dropped from this edition due to a significant decline in performance."