This is the first time that Indian high-tech giant Wipro has been included on the international version of the Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics (it has been on local versions) -- and it already has managed to knock a U.S. company out of the top spot.
The guide focuses on companies that produce everything from mobile phones to tablets to personal computers - high-functioning gadgets that Greenpeace believes are contributing to climate change. The ranking measures many different criteria including the carbon footprint produced by a company's supply chain, the toxic materials contained in their products, use of renewable energy, emissions reductions commitments, and product recycling or refurbishment policies.
In its first appearance on the broad list, Wipro scored significantly higher (7.1 out of a possible 10) than the No. 2 company, Hewlett-Packard.
It scored major points with Greenpeace for its commitment to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 44 percent before 2015, compared with a 2008 baseline year. That's the biggest reduction pledge of the companies on the list, and a major strategy for getting there is using renewable energy, says Greenpeace.
"Wipro has set a new benchmark for sustainability not only in India but across the globe, that will have a long-term impact in shaping the green energy debate in the electronics industry," notes Abhishek Pratap, senior campaigner for Greenpeace India. "The rest of the electronics sector should follow in the footsteps of Wipro's climate leadership."
Wipro also scored high in two other areas: product energy efficiency and voluntary take-back policies. It didn't do well, however, when it comes to chemicals management and advocacy, or policies with respect to sourcing paper fiber. Which is why, even though it is No. 1, it is still far away from a perfect score.
The company scored maximum points for its paper procurement policies, and it also was recognized for its policies with respect to the sourcing of conflict mineral.
The most improved company on the list was Acer, which moved up nine spots to No. 4.
The big factor behind its better performance was its GHG emissions reduction goal - it is targeting a 30 percent cut by 2015, relative to a 2009 baseline. If is aiming for a 60 percent overall cut between 2009 and 2020, and it is asking its tier-one suppliers to adopt more aggressive GHG reduction strategies of their own by the end of the year.
Here's the whole list, along with the scores for each:
1) Wipro (7.1/10)
2) HP (5.7/10)
3) Nokia (5.4/10)
4) Acer (5.1/10)
5) Dell (4.6/10)
6) Apple (4.5/10)
7) Samsung (4.2/10)
8) Sony (4.1/10)
9) Lenovo (3.9/10)
10) Philips (3.8/10)
11) Panasonic (3.6/10)
12) LGE (3.5/10)
13) HCL Infosystems (3.1/10) and Sharp (3.1/10)
14) Toshiba (2.3/10)
15) RIM (2.0/10)