Cisco still atop Greenpeace 'Cool IT' list

The Cisco green types must be all puffed up with pride over two major pieces of good news this week: Not only did the company score a major information technology efficiency project with energy giant Royal Dutch Shell, but the company sits atop the latest Greenpeace Cool IT Leaderboard ranking. Again.

The Cisco green types must be all puffed up with pride over two major pieces of good news this week: Not only did the company score a major information technology efficiency project with energy giant Royal Dutch Shell, but the company sits atop the latest Greenpeace Cool IT Leaderboard ranking. Again.

First, the Greenpeace news. Cisco, which earned a rank of 70 out of 100, was cited by Greenpeace for its "recognition of a clear opportunity to make IT climate solutions an increasingly core part of its business strategy." The listing assesses 17 global information and technology companies on several vectors including Climate Solutions (40 out of 100 points); Energy Impact (25 out of 100 points) and Political Advocacy (35 out of 100 points). Ericsson was No. 2 on the ranking, with 57, while Fujitsu was No. 3 with 52.

When the Greenpeace list was last updated in the spring of 2010, Cisco had a score of 62 out of 100. Ericsson was also No. 2 on that ranking. The biggest difference near the top is that Fujitsu -- which also got props as part of a recent Gartner ranking -- has nudged ahead of IBM and Hewlett-Packard, two of its big rivals in the data center, on the Greenpeace list. The organization cited Fujitsu's move to develop climate and clean energy recommendations for the Japanese government as a clear indicator of the company's Cool IT leadership.

Cisco actually won just one of the individual sub-categories, the one for Climate Solutions, where it earned 31 out of the 40 possible points. Another clear example of its leadership in this area came earlier this week in the form of a major energy-efficiency project with Shell, focused on how the company can use IT to reduce its carbon footprint. The project, which includes both AT&T and the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group, will cover a broad range of optimization activities including server virtualization, storage consolidation and -- notably -- the installation of Cisco Telepresence Solutions, which are intended to help Shell reduce the greenhouse gas emissions contributed by its business travel activities. The Cisco service group will conduct a complete energy consumption audit, using its EnergyWise software to capture information across Shell's buildings.

IBM earned the highest score, a 21 out of 25, for its work on Energy Impact, which covers factors such as the company's absolute emissions reduction target, mitigation strategies, and supply chain efficiency and footprinting initiatives.

Google was the highest-scoring company for Political Advocacy, with 30 out of 35. Greenpeace cited the company's efforts in two areas: its work to support the European Union's attempt to establish 30 percent reduction targets for cuts of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, and its help (along with Cisco and HP) in thwarting the California Proposition 23, which sought to overturn the state's global warming law.