By Mel Duvall
Cisco has come out on top of a ranking of IT companies by environmental activist group Greenpeace, while Japanese electronics giant Panasonic has found itself in the greenhouse gas doghouse.
Greenpeace said Cisco vaulted to the top of its "Cool IT" leaderboard, doubling its score from the previous version of its Information Technology Industry Climate Ranking. Cisco demonstrated "the effectiveness of its greenhouse emissions-saving solutions" to earn a score of 62, compared to the next closest company, Ericsson, which had a score of 53. Panasonic, by comparison earned a score of 14.
Greenpeace based its rankings on the efforts of IT companies in three key areas:
- Efforts to offer economy-wide technological climate solutions that contribute to global greenhouse gas reductions;
- Initiatives to reduce their own global warming emissions; and
- Active engagement in political advocacy and support for science-based climate and energy policies.
Greenpeace then weighted each of the areas, with climate solutions accounting for 50 out of 100 points, a company's environmental footprint accounting for 15 points, and advocacy counting for 35 points.
Cisco earned its position by scoring 32 points in environmental solutions, 15 out of 15 in footprint, and 15 out of 35 points for advocacy. It replaced IBM at the top of the ranking, with IBM slipping to third place.
"Cisco is aggressively positioning itself as a central player in the development of a global smart grid," Greenpeace said in the report. "Though Cisco does not have the same brand profile as IBM or an elaborate "Smart Planet" marketing campaign to peddle its green tech solutions offerings, Cisco is rapidly developing a full suite of smart grid products and services that can empower its business partners and customers to become more efficient energy managers."
Cisco also earned high marks for the role its chief executive officer, John Chambers, has played in energy policy advocacy.
On the opposite end of the scale, Panasonic was hammered primarily not for what it was doing, but for not providing enough information about what it was doing. "It needs to be clearer about the solutions it offers beyond energy efficient products, and offer case study data for its solutions offerings," Greenpeace said.
Overall, electronics manufacturers scored poorly in the rankings, with Sony coming in second to last with 16 points, and Sharp and Toshiba doing slightly better with 18 and 22 points, respectively.
The Greenpeace ranking does have one glaring omission. Computer and gadget manufacturing powerhouse Apple is nowhere to be found. Greenpeace has said in the past that it bases the rankings on companies that are considered leaders in their field and that over time it will add other players. In this ranking Ericsson and software giant SAP were added to the list, and in the next ranking, it said Sun Microsystems (which was on previous lists) will be replaced by its new owner, Oracle.
Here are the overall rankings from the Greenpeace CoolIT Leaderboard:
1. Cisco - 62 points
2. Ericsson - 53 points
3. IBM - 42 points
4. HP - 40 points
5. Fujitsu - 36 points
6. Google - 33 points
7. Microsoft - 31 points
8. Dell - 28 points
9. Intel - 27 points
10. Nokia - 22 points
11. SAP - 22 points
12. Toshiba - 22 points
13. Sharp - 18 points
14. Sony - 16 points
15. Panasonic - 14 points
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