Electronics Makers, Internet Companies Get Graded on Climate Change

It’s time to see how our favorite gadget makers and Internet search engines fare when it comes to their commitment to fighting climate change. While Greenpeace has its green electronics guide, the non-profit Climate Counts released a new scorecard on companies this week, which includes a list of electronics makers and Internet/software firms ranked according to the actions they’ve taken to reduce carbon emissions and combat global warming (hat tip to CNET). IBM and Google lead their peers, while Apple, eBay and Amazon lag far behind.

At the top of the electronics category are IBM, Canon and Toshiba. IBM recently told us that they have been working on environmental stewardship since 1971, so no surprise there. But way at the bottom are Apple, Nokia, and a little further up, Dell.

Apple has come under fire from environmentalists in the past, and the company has been trying to change its ways. But apparently when it comes to carbon emissions, not so much. Dell, on the other hand, was one of the first computer companies to commit to reducing its carbon footprint, so we’re not sure why it scored so low. Dell has also consistently had a pretty good track record for recycling, and recently started showing off its new eco PC, which is 81 percent smaller than a standard desktop and uses 70 percent less power.

When it comes to Internet and software companies, Google tops the list by a mile. The search giant deserves recognition for its climate change-fighting initiatives; lately it’s even been getting into the energy generation and cleantech investing business. Microsoft has a pretty good score, too, with Chief Environmental Strategist Robert Bernard leading the way.

At the bottom of the Internet and software list are eBay and Amazon, both with dreadfully low scores of “5.” EBay’s bad score arrived on the day that it decided to open a “green building” in San Jose, though we haven’t heard much from them before. Hopefully a ranking systems like this will light a fire under the poor performers.