Apple and Facebook left off Greenpeace clean energy ranking

Google is the leader on the environmental organization's latest Cool IT Leaderboard, although it did not win for any separate rating criteria category.
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor

I don't often associate Apple and Facebook in the same strategic conversations but it turns out that two of the high-tech industry's coolest companies have one thing in common: they have failed to make this year's Cool IT Leaderboard ranking by Greenpeace.

Apparently, Facebook will get a reprieve on the next list, because of its recent policy changes with respect to clean energy, but the omissions are typical of Greenpeace. The organization has little tolerance for what it views as inaction by companies that could use their influence to change policies and common practices across a given industry.

Noted Greenpeace International IT analyst Gary Cook:

"Technology giants have a real opportunity to use their power and influence to change how we produce and use energy. Google tops the table because it's putting its money where its mouth is by pumping investment into renewable energy. The IT sector might like to consider itself forward-thinking, but it is keeping far too quiet while the dirty energy industry continues to exert undue influence on both the political process and financial markets."

The Cool IT ranking, which is the organization's fifth such list, examines the policies of IT companies in the following areas: leadership on clean energy adoption, potential to make an impact on clean energy leadership, and potential to influence energy decisions. The big focus, of course, is data centers, especially as more applications move into the cloud.

There are 21 companies in all on the latest Cool IT Leaderboard; rated on three metrics each: IT climate solutions, IT energy impact and political advocacy. The companies are scored on a scale of 1 to 100. This year's ratings range all the way from Google's top score of 53 (not very high, when you think about it) to Oracle's last place score of 10 (hey, at least it made the list).

Greenpeace notes that while a number of the big IT companies have changed their stances on clean energy, few of them are taking a leadership position on policy. Also, I found it fascinating that Google actually didn't win for any of the separate categories -- which suggests that the next version of this ranking could reflect a different leader. Here are the companies that managed to do so:

  • IT Energy Impact = IBM
  • Political Advocacy = Softbank
  • IT Climate Solutions (weighted the most) = Fujitsu

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