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Judging the Top Green Companies is a matter of perspective. Every site that lists their "Top Green IT Companies" uses their own system, so no two lists are exactly the same. Rather than trying to piece a list together from the avialable data, I will show you each list with a short explanation about why each company is where it is. The lists that I used are Newsweek, ComputerWorld, and GreenPeace.
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Newsweek lists the following as their Top 10 IT Companies. I am including their 'ranking' in the list. The reality is that some of the companies are not in their "Top 10" because the list includes all industries--not just IT.
1. HP - Programs to reduce GHG and Toxic wastes in their products and supply chains.
2. Dell - Carbon Neutral, Headquarters uses 100% Renewable energy, computer products use 25% less power (by 2010).
4. Intel - focus is on increasing speed while reducing energy usage in their products.
5. IBM - Has had formal Environmental policies since 1971, and requires all employees to have environmental awareness training.
12. Cisco Systems - 80% of their European companies use renewable energy, while 32% of their US companies do.
14. Sun Microsystems - Requires environmental management accreditation from suppliers and posts information about their energy uses and greenhouse consumption on their website.
16. Adobe Systems - Offset all carbon emissions for their Northern California sites (42% of their total carbon emmissions) and are redesigning their software packages to be more environmentally friendly.
17. AMD - Reducing their GHG and PFC emissions and debuting halogen free products (with lead free products coming next).
31. Microsoft - New design of Windows uses less energy. Also includes the use of virtualization technologies.
55. AutoDesk - Makes software products incorporating minimal waste, reduced energy use, and green building design.
- slide 3 of 6
ComputerWorld lists their companies by categories. The category that I chose was Top Green IT Vendors. Their other option was Top Green IT Users (which doesn't limit the list to IT companies--just IT departments in companies). For their IT Vendors, ComputerWorld did not supply any information, however their IT Users includes reasons for the rankings.
5. Fujitsu America
8. Network Appliance
9. Other World Computing
10. Verizon Wireless
11. Computer Sciences
12. Sun Microsystems
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GreenPeace ranks their electronic companies by their policies on various environmental issues. This includes IT and other electronic companies. Because I was looking at just IT companies, this list only contains 8 companies. GreenPeace ranks them using a system of 51 marks and calculates the ranking from 1.0 to 10.0 (where 1.0 is the worst and 10.0 is the best). The number in parentheses after the company name is their score on GreenPeace.
1. Toshiba (5.3) - Good score on toxics elimination.
2. Apple (5.1) - Continues to improve with best score on toxic chemical elimination and e-waste criteria.
3. Sony (5.1) - better energy totals.
4. HP (4.7) - Clear support for global emmission reductions.
5. Acer (4.5) - Acer is lobbying for stronger chemical legislation.
6. Dell (3.9) - Lowered because of energy criteria and delaying phase out for toxics.
7. Lenovo (2.5) - Penalty point for indefinite phase out of toxics.
8. Microsoft (2.4) - Fails to support strong chemcials legislation.
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As I mentioned in the introduction, there are no clear-cut winners here. One list will give high marks for something, and another list will either ignore those facts, or score lower for them. The best way to determine which companies are the top are to look at how their energy consumption is, what sources of energy they are using, and if they produce a product, how they minimize waste in the production and sales of the products. Companies which promote virtualization will not necessarily be more "green" than other companies, however they will aid you in becoming a more "green" user of IT.
Some of the lists are older (2008 and 2009). These are the most recent lists that were available at the time of this writing (from these sources).
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http://greenrankings.newsweek.com/ Newsweek's 2009 Green Rankings for US Companies
http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/312485/Top_Green_IT_Companies_and_Vendors 2008 Top Green IT Companies and Vendors- Computerworld
http://www.greenpeace.org/international/campaigns/toxics/electronics/how-the-companies-line-up/ GreenPeace's Top Green Companies in Electronics, Computers, and Technology