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Google tops Greenpeace's Cool IT Leaderboard

Google ranked highest for commitment to renewable energy use and policy, Oracle bottom of list

Google tops Greenpeace's Cool IT Leaderboard
The Greenpeace Cool IT Leaderboard ranks companies on commitment to use renewable energy and campaigning to influence government policies on energy.

Greenpeace has ranked Google as the best company for clean energy usage and influence on its Cool IT Leaderboard.

The search giant topped the fifth edition of the leaderboard, which ranks 21 IT companies according to their clean energy leadership potential, willingness to embrace clean energy solutions and potential to influence energy decisions.

Google came out top for its support for stronger US clean energy policy and the strengthening of the EU's current 20% greenhouse gas target of 30% by 2020, and its ongoing commitment to use of renewable energy for its data centres.

Cisco and Ericsson were second and third on the list, with Ericsson, IBM, Cisco and Fujitsu cited for the quantity and strength of their renewable energy solutions, while Cisco, along with Google and Dell, were noted for sourcing over 20% renewable energy globally to power their infrastructures.

"Technology giants have a real opportunity to use their power and influence to change how we produce and use energy - Google tops the table because it's putting its money where its mouth is by pumping investment into renewable energy", said Greenpeace International IT analyst Gary Cook. "The IT sector might like to consider itself forward-thinking, but it is keeping far too quiet while the dirty energy industry continues to exert undue influence on both the political process and financial markets".

Oracle ranked last on the list, for failing to disclose either renewable or dirty energy use, while both Facebook and Apple missed out on inclusion. Facebook is likely to be included in next year's leaderboard, Greenpeace said, for recently committing to using more renewable energy for the social networking site and helping Facebook users to understand their own energy usage.

Apple was criticized by the environmental pressure group as it "has not demonstrated leadership or elected to pursue market opportunities to drive IT energy solutions that many of its competitors have, despite record profits and large cash reserves".

Greenpeace said that while there was a steady increase in the quantity and strength of renewable energy solutions across the industry, there was also a significant drop-off in policy advocacy leadership by IT companies, and called on the industry to do more to pressurize government policy.

"The IT industry must use its influence, innovative spirit and technological know-how to overcome the dirty energy companies who are holding on to the status quo, and holding us back from a transition to a renewable energy economy", said Cook. "What we're seeing is a lot of talk from companies about moving toward clean energy, but so far, not much of action."

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