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Cisco wins more Greenpeace kudos

Environmental action group rates IT companies for not only how they behave, but also how they lobby. Cisco, Ericsson, and Fujitsu make the top three.


Cisco, once again, was the leader of the pack as Greenpeace released its latest Cool IT Leaderboard on Tuesday.

The environmental watchdog group named Cisco, Ericsson, and Fujitsu, respectively, as the three most environmentally responsible IT companies. Cisco received 70 out of 100 possible points, while Ericsson received 57 points and Fujitsu 52 points. Greenpeace praised Cisco for "making IT climate solutions an increasingly core part of its business strategy."

Cisco was in first place in the group's previous list in April, despite Google upping its public support for climate change legislation in the U.S. at the time.

In this latest evaluation, Japan-based Fujitsu was particularly praised for a 12-prong proposal it made to the Japanese government in support of reducing greenhouse gas emissions as a country. The company showed strong leadership in its proposal "while the rest of the Japanese IT companies remained silent," said Greenpeace.

The proposal is timely since the Japanese government has been evaluating whether it will pass a series of laws that could lead to the reduction of the country's greenhouse gas emissions to 25 percent below what they were in 1990 by 2020.

Google, which ranked fourth with 47 points, was also praised for publicly opposing Proposition 23, a proposition to suspend the law already in place that mandates emissions reductions in California. Greenpeace, in fact, gave Google the highest rating when it came to environmental advocacy with 30 points, the most any company could achieve. But Google was outranked by every other company except Oracle when it came to reducing its own energy footprint, or offering a timed plan for reducing its own emissions.

Companies that did not fare as well with Greenpeace include: IBM (46 points), Intel (31 points), and Microsoft (29 points).

Greenpeace deducted points from their ratings because the three companies lobbied against a European Union-proposed plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2020, according to Greenpeace. Meanwhile the group praised Sony Europe and Google for publicly supporting that same reduction proposal.

The worst-ranked companies included SAP and Panasonic, each with 21 points. Oracle made its debut on the list in last place with 12 points.

Officially, Greenpeace says that it evaluated the IT companies based on the three categories of solutions, energy impact, and advocacy. But those categories are then further broken down. The organization has released a comprehensive yet easy-to-read chart (see below) that shows how each category is weighted.

The Greenpeace chart signals, as with the organization's previous report, that it's moved beyond simply looking at sourcing, manufacturing, and waste policies when evaluating whether a company is environmentally responsible. It's also monitoring and holding powerful companies responsible for how they wield their lobbying power with regard to government regulation and the environment.