The respected environmental advocacy organization has published its latest "Guide to Greener Electronics," and the United States is the clear leader in this space.
believes that environmentally conscious IT in the big world of profit and loss
is an amorphous concept because one cannot actually see a carbon footprint
is way, way out of touch.
power consumption, carbon footprints and facilities' operating expenses are becoming
more strategically instrumental for enterprises all the time. There are plenty
of business people-environmental, financial and marketing-who have abiding
interest in seeing these numbers improve over time.
of companies are taking green IT best practices quite seriously, and these
largely are the ones that already are role models to others. The highly
respected environmental advocacy organization, Greenpeace International, on
Nov. 10 published its latest "Guide to Greener Electronics," and the
United States is the clear leader in this space.
for all its administrative faux pas of the last several years, nonetheless has
kept its eye on the ball in the way it conducts business with relation to the
environment. So have Dell, Nokia, Apple and Philips, among others. Three of the
top four environmentally correct IT companies are based in the United States,
according to Greenpace.
Sustainability Is the Key
August announced that it would stop making PCs and smartphones but reversed
that decision following the installation of new CEO Meg Whitman a couple of
months later-is producing IT in a more sustainable way than its competitors,
Calif.-based HP, up three places from last year's list, scored highest on its
sustainable operations and energy criteria, but it could improve on green
products criteria, Greenpeace said.
the top spot because it is scoring strongly by measuring and reducing carbon
emissions from its supply chain, reducing its own emissions and advocating for
strong climate legislation," Greenpeace International's Tom Dowdall
plenty more that can be done, as witnessed by HP's rather paltry-looking 5.9
score out of a possible 10 on Greenpeace's tough e-scale. Greenpeace's criteria
demand electronics companies:
emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) by implementing a Clean Electricity
up their products by eliminating hazardous substances;
back and recycle their products responsibly once they become obsolete; and
the use of unsustainable materials in their products and packaging.
download a 12-page PDF copy of the list criteria at this Greenpeace.org Website
HP's Massive Supply Chain
HP, which has
324,000 employees of its own, has done very well in most of these departments,
especially when one considers the vastness of its supply chain. We're talking
about tens of thousands of other companies (parts, service and software
suppliers, partner companies, integrators and value-added resellers) and
various other business connections for the world's largest IT hardware, software
and service provider.
Texas-based Dell jumped from No. 10 in 2010 to runner-up this year, scoring 5.1
out of 10 to mark a major improvement. In its report, Greenpeace remarked that
Dell now has by far the most ambitious "climate target" of the rated
companies, with plans to reduce its carbon emissions by a whopping 40 percent
by the clear-vision year, 2020. The PC, server, storage, and cloud software
maker also has an exemplary policy on sustainable paper sourcing, Greenpeace
Nokia, which has had its share of problems competing in the new, more
cutthroat-than-ever smartphone market, had spent the last three years at No. 1
but this year fell to No. 3, scoring 4.9. This drop was mainly due to weaker performance
on energy use, Greenpeace said.
two very environmentally aware IT companies, IBM and NetApp, were nowhere to be
found on the list. Neither were such other giants as EMC, Oracle, Microsoft and
Cisco Systems. Since most of the companies on the list make consumer products,
perhaps it behooves business-to-business IT companies to become more aware of
Will Consumers Heed This Information?
It is not
known what kind of impact public lists like this have on consumer buying
habits. However, Greenpeace-which is most well-known for such campaigns as
saving whales and dolphins from rogue fishermen-had a group of its volunteers
in the mid-1990s successfully put pressure on sporting-goods manufacturer Nike
to improve labor practices in the Far East.
claims there has been an increase in take-back programs and reductions in the
IT industry's use of hazardous materials and chemicals since it began this
campaign a decade ago.
You can view
the entire Greenpeace list, along with the full report cards on each of the top
15 companies, at this Website