Greenpeace finds IT firms lacking on climate leadership

Greenpeace yesterday launched its newest campaign aiming at urging the IT industry to do more to help address climate change issues, and finds that the industry has plenty of room for improvement.

The IT industry is singled out for its potential to help address the world's pressing environmental issues: the Smart 2020 report published last year found that information technology has the potential to bring about worldwide reductions in greenhouse gas emissions of 15 percent or more by the year 2020.

But in its research of the industry, Greenpeace found that progress is happening far too slowly to achieve those goals. The top-ranking companies in the scorecard, available online at, are IBM and Sun Microsystems, both of whom scored just 29 out of 100 points, across five categories: Public climate speeches, political advocacy, climate solutions, internal emissions targets, and renewable energy use.

Of the 12 companies included in the scorecard, IBM earns praise for its own emissions targets -- the company has set hard targets for absolute emissions reductions longer than any other IT company in the survey -- and some praise for its climate solutions, some of which we've profiled already. Greenpeace recognized Sun Microsystems for its internal emissions targets and its political advocacy (notably, its status as a founding member of the BICEP climate partnership), but scored zero points for its climate solutions and renewable energy use.

At the bottom of the list is Toshiba, which scored just 2 points, Sharp with 5 points, and Sony and Microsoft with 7 points each.

Greenpeace developed the scores by asking the CEOs of each company to provide details about each firm's climate change activities along three key areas: Providing IT solutions to help measure and reduce climate impacts; lobbying for a strong climate agreement in Copenhagen, Denmark, at the climate-treaty negotiations this December; and reducing their companies' own emissions internally and increasing the amount of renewable energy they use.

"While governments across the globe are debating how to solve the climate crisis, it is disappointing that innovative IT companies that stand to profit handsomely from tech solutions are sitting on their hands and not advocating for science-based greenhouse gas emissions reductions," said Greenpeace International Campaigner Casey Harrell in a statement.

As with Greenpeace's Guide to Greener Electronics, the group will update the rankings regularly. Full details are online at, and the full rankings are below:

Company CEO Score

IBM S. J. Palmisano 29

Sun J. I. Schwartz 29

Dell M. S. Dell 21

Cisco J. T. Chambers 19

Intel P. Otellini 18

Fujitsu K. Nozoe 18

Nokia O. Kallasvuo 16

HP M. Hurd 13

Microsoft S. Balmer 7

Sony H. Stringer 7

Sharp K. Machida 5

Toshiba A. Nishida 2

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