7 high-tech giants make latest EPA green power leaders list

Intel has held its status at No. 1 since 2008; Microsoft leaps into No. 3 position.
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor

Intel continued its four-year streak at the top of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's list of top 50 companies using what it calls "green power." The list has been in existence since 2004.

According to the EPA, green power resources include clean or renewable electricity sources such as solar, wind and hydropower. The aha moment for this latest quarterly update lies in the fact that all of the top 50 green power companies listed are "partnered" for at least 100 million kilowatt-hours of green power annually.

I use the word partnered, because not all of these companies are generating their own green power on-site or actually buying from a green power generator directly; in many cases they are buying renewable energy certificates in order to build up their green power portfolio.

Intel, which is been No. 1 on the national green power list since 2008, uses more than 2.5 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity annually that is generated with biomass, geothermal, small-hydro, solar and wind resources. Its green power consumption is about 88 percent of its total energy usage and it includes both on-site generation and the purchase of renewable energy certifications from organizations such as Sterling Planet.

Despite being dissed by GreenPeace for dirty power just last week, Microsoft showed up at No. 3 on the list with 1.12 billion kilowatt-hours of green power, or 46 percent of its consumption. Its green power comes from certificates for biomass, small-hydro and wind purchased from Sterling Planet.

Here are the other five IT and telecommunications companies that made the top 50:

  • Cisco Systems, with 268.6 million kilowatt-hours annually in green energy from wind investments (27 percent of consumption)
  • Sprint, with 176 million kilowatt-hours from solar and wind (5 percent)
  • Dell, with 119.4 million kilowatt-hours from biogas, solar and wind (29 percent)
  • Google, with 103 million kilowatt-hours from biogas, biomass, small-hydro, solar and wind (5 percent)
  • Xerox, with 101.4 million kilowatt-hours from wind (18 percent)

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