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Summary:

Indian tech firm Wipro takes the lead for the first time — beating out U.S. companies like Apple, HP and Dell — to become the highest ranking gadget maker in Greenpeace’s latest green guide to electronics.

Wipro

For the first time in the history of Greenpeace’s green gadget guide, an Indian electronics firm, Wipro, has taken the lead in the rankings ahead of American tech companies like Apple, HP and Dell. Greenpeace released its latest (18th) Guide to Greener Electronics on Monday and announced that Wipro topped the sustainability rankings out of 16 companies.

First launched in 2006, Greenpeace’s Guide to Greener Electronics looks at environmental conditions for electronics manufacturers like if companies use toxic materials in their gadgets, if they take back old products for recycling, how much energy they use to produce and ship their gadgets, and how clean their energy sources are. Companies also score points by setting carbon emissions reductions goals and for advocating politically for sustainability. The top companies in the latest guide are Wipro, HP, Nokia, and Acer, while the bottom companies are Sharp, Toshiba and RIM.

This was the first time that Indian firm Wipro was on the list, and its debut at number one, was prompted largely by Wipro’s “climate leadership,” says Greenpeace. Wipro says it plans to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 44 percent by 2015 and achieve 85 percent of those emissions reductions through the use of clean power. Wipro also has worked closely with the Indian government on solar and clean power policies.

The Indian government has itself developed an aggressive clean power plan, which might be more aspirational than realistic. But India is hoping to install 3 GW of solar by 2016, compared with the 54 MW of solar installed in 2010. And to meet the growing demand for power — as the country’s economy grows — India plans to add 100 GW of power generation over the next five years, and that will be made up by mostly coal and clean power.

While Wipro is willing to be aggressive on clean power and greenhouse gas emissions reductions goals, the Greenpeace rankings find that in contrast almost all of the other electronics giants “are still heavily dependent on climate changing dirty energy sources in their supply and manufacturing chains.” A Greenpeace spokesperson writes:

Most consumers would be surprised to hear that many devices consume more electricity before they’re ever purchased just in their manufacturing than they do after we buy them and charge them every night. This “embedded energy” is the next big frontier for consumer electronics companies who want to be green.

Apple came in at the 6th spot on Greenpeace’s guide, down from its 4th spot in 2011, but up from a former ranking at number nine. Greenpeace has blasted Apple in the past, despite its massive solar and fuel cell farms being built in North Carolina.

Image courtesy of fraboof.

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  1. Wipro might be a huge company in the software services arena, but they can hardly be called a ‘giant’ when it comes to electronics / hardware. Who has ever heard of a Wipro desktop or laptop outside of India? Even in India, they are not really selling all that well. It’s not fair and valid to compare Wipro with the true giant hardware companies like HP, Apple, etc. There must be plenty of garage operations that assemble hardware with an even less environmental impact than Wipro. Should they be ranked ahead of Wipro then?

    1. Muraleedhara Panicker A S Tuesday, November 20, 2012

      Whether Wipro is a “giant” or not. That’s not the concern here. The topic is based on Greenpeace’s findings with the best practice of clean energy by setting carbon emissions reductions goals and advocating politically for sustainability. Companies should have aggressive plan on clean power. Wipro’s efforts are substantial.

    2. Hello A S,

      Is it really a requirement for the green Greenpeace recognition to be a giant like HP, Dell or Apple? I do consider it as a “Yes” from your side.

      I would request you to understand that the “giants” that you are speaking of; do not have inhouse manufacturing skills or that the cost of manufacturing inhouse is too high, hence almost everything is outsourced to countries like China or Thailand, where green / environmental aspect is not much considered.

      Please understand that there are many aspects to this recognition that “Goliaths (read HP, Dell or Apple) has already started to take cues from “David (read Wipro”. ;-)

      1. His comment is based on the context of this article: “Greenpeace’s Guide to Greener Electronics looks at environmental conditions for electronics manufacturers”.

        WiPro may be a large company bu tit’s no giant in electronic manufacturing.

    3. Khürt Williams  A S Wednesday, November 21, 2012

      I feel the same way. I can’t name a single WiPro product and your comment about smaller and possibly more environmentally friend startups is spot on.

      1. Dear Khurt,

        Its not your fault that you are not aware of Wipro’s products; it’s your ignorance speaking!! I’ll take it as “ignorance is bliss” (for you)!! :-)

  2. Wow! Really? Have you seen the conditions that the average person in India leaves? Yah, don’t forget the poor in India. To compare these companies or to assume that this ranking is meaningful or a disgrace to HP is a joke.

    1. Hello Ozie,

      It is indeed a very valid observation that you have made on how an average person in India live (not “leaves” ;-)). And that is pretty imperative from people like you who actually do not have a clue of what is happening socio-economically in the rest of the world other than US/EU or might be in Australia!!

      First, let’s understand economy in US/EU or for that matter even in Auz is pretty much in shambles. Unemployed people in these countries live at the cost of others who are paying taxes and huge government subsidies. Nevertheless, you might not be even aware of this.

      Second, this recognition is nothing to do with how an average person in India lives!! It is how well the company is handling the “green effect” of porducts being manufactured!! You should be well aware that most (if not all) the US companies names here (HP, Dell or Apple) get their products manufactured in either China or Thailand where green aspects are not much looked in to; hence this recognition has gone to an Indian organization than to an American company. Please get this straight before commenting.

      It is indeed an achievement by Wipro and organizations like Dell, HP or Apple should learn from it. Top executives from these organizations do take these as learnings, while others comment irrelevant. Pretty interesting!!

  3. Way to go Wipro ! US based companies don’t manufacture in US rather they do it outside and other countries gets polluted. but they call themselves more green economy. Anyways Wipro desktop may not be visible outside India, however Green ranking is not based on the sales and revenues but on their Green technology initiatives and sustainability.. I don’t understand how people quickly judge “how average people in India lives “, anyway here the companies are compare not poverty, do not bring politics into this.

    1. Amazing!Awesome!! Wipro WAY TO GO!!!!

  4. Who really cares?

    1. If no one really cares, then why did you read this article???? And why do you think that these big organizations are competing for this award!! Extremely unwise statement Joe!! :-)

  5. Hey !!! Take a break . I suppose if someone else comments on this post it will be enough to start virtual WWIII ….. This Greenpeace’s green gadget guide is to value those who are taking strong steps to make the environment green not red by making useless comments on some country or company…

  6. I guess bribery still works…..

  7. One should be commenting on the sincerity and merits of the effort and not on financial or other standings…..if it helps India…why not? One should not be much concerned with “other” products manufactured in “other” countries… to each his own…

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