Google, Cisco lauded for green IT efforts

New Greenpeace Cool IT index notes increased efforts by both companies

Cisco and Google have shared the top spot in Greenpeace's latest Cool IT Leadership rankings. The leaderboard from the advocacy organisation tracks IT companies' efforts to implement environmentally sustainable technologies as well as businesses' political advocacy for eco-friendly policies.

Both Cisco and Google increased their score from the previous Cool IT report.

The third and fourth spots on the leaderboard were taken by Ericsson and Fujitsu, respectively, while HP, US telco Sprint and IT outsourcing services company Wipro shared fifth spot. Microsoft achieved the greatest increase, although it only achieved eleventh place, with Greenpeace noting its continued membership of American Legislative Exchange Council "which is seeking to repeal [US] state renewable energy policies".

Greenpeace's report said that "Google continues to set the bar for its clean energy investment leadership among IT companies... Google’s clean energy investments, now topping $1bn US dollars since 2010, illustrate that Google understands and in fact embraces the idea that corporations can play an important role in providing a new and much needed source of capital to the renewable energy sector."

Cisco was lauded for its targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions and its efforts to adopt performance-based environmental goals for its facilities, which the report said should help "drive significant new growth by Cisco away from coal-fired generation."

Greenpeace used the release of the rankings to advocate for increased clean energy lobbying of governments by tech companies.

“The IT sector’s progress will continue to be blocked by large, dirty electric utilities until more companies embrace their political power and advocate for climate-friendly decentralized energy policies,” Greenpeace International Senior IT Analyst Gary Cook said.

It is the sixth time Greenpeace has released Cool IT rankings, with the project launched in early 2009.

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