Which IT Company Is The Greenest of Them All?

Which of the leading computing and web firms — like Google (s GOOG), IBM (s IBM), Cisco (s CSCO), Sony — should get a pat on the back for their green records, and which should get a kick in the rear? This morning at our Green:Net event, Greenpeace released the details of its latest version of its Cool IT leaderboard, which ranks companies based on the green leanings of their technology, carbon footprint and advocacy.

Greenpeace found the top three IT firms were Cisco, Ericsson, and IBM, while the bottom three IT firms were Sharp, Sony and Panasonic. For all you Google-watchers out there, the search engine company ranked #6 (full rankings shown below). Greenpeace gave the most points for solutions and products that could cut carbon emissions, followed by advocacy, policy and leadership work, and lastly a company’s carbon footprint.

Cisco stole the lead from IBM, which led in a previous version, and Greenpeace said Cisco moved to the front because of “its thoroughness in documenting the impact of its solutions offerings, which reduce energy consumption in areas such as building design and energy management, telecommunting, and smart grid deployment.” At Green:Net, Cisco’s Senior Vice President and General Manager for Smart Grid, Laura Ipsen, described Cisco’s smart grid strategy, which includes recently hiring Paul De Martini, from utility Southern California Edison, as Cisco’s Smart Grid team Chief Technology Officer, as well as hiring Jeff Taft as Cisco’s Global Smart Grid Architect, away from Accenture. (5 Questions with Ipsen here.)

While it was Ericsson’s first time on Greenpeace’s list, the telecom equipment company got props for its CEO’s advocacy, as well as its attention to providing mobile solutions with reduced carbon emissions (technology like low power and clean power base stations).

On the other end of the spectrum Greenpeace found that massive consumer electronics maker Sony has “not developed climate
solutions as part of its portfolio mix,” and Panasonic “needs to be clearer about the solutions it offers beyond energy efficient products, and offer case study data for its solutions offerings.”

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Image courtesy of Greenpeace.