IT not yet cool enough to help reduce global warming

Press release - 27 October, 2009
With the crucial Copenhagen Climate summit approaching rapidly, IT heavyweights such as Google, Microsoft and IBM are still hesitating to speak up on the urgent need for emissions reductions, reveals the latest Greenpeace Cool IT leaderboard.

Clear public support for strong emissions reductions is a key scoring criteria on the leaderboard along with the company's measurable, economy wide climate solutions and reducing their own emissions. IBM, HP and Fujitsu occupy the top 3 places in this round of assessments  but no company scores above 50/100. Google, a new addition comes in at number 4, scoring 32/100.

The Smart 2020 report, commissioned by the IT industry itself, clearly outlines how IT solutions have the potential to cut global greenhouse gas emissions by a remarkable 15 per cent by 2020.

"Though the IT industry will profit from strong emissions reduction targets, disappointingly, it is not coming close to its potential of leading the way to a low carbon economy," said Melanie Francis, Greenpeace International Climate Campaigner. "IT giants like Microsoft, Google and IBM need to rapidly put their weight behind a strong deal at Copenhagen or the climate will lose out to dirty industry's negative lobbying."

IBM maintains top spot on the leaderboard due to an extensive range of climate solutions and action to reduce its own emissions but is only one point ahead of a much improved HP. HP and Toshiba show strong progress by providing more comprehensive information on how their climate solutions can reduce global emissions. Dell, Nokia and Sony failed to show significant improvement in their scores since May 2009.

Sharp stands out as the only Japanese company to indicate support for a strong reduction target of the new Japanese Government. Panasonic is new to the leaderboard and can increase its score on several criteria for the next assessment.

Google has clearly set out a plan for reducing emissions by 2030 but is has not yet spoken up on the need for a strong global deal at Copenhagen. The CEO of Ericsson has been making prominent speeches on the urgency of the problem and the importance of Copenhagen(1) but the leaders of Nokia, Dell, Microsoft and Sony, among others stay silent on the most urgent issue facing the planet.

" Apple's recent bold move to leave the US Chamber of Commerce over the Chamber's blocking of US government efforts to address climate change contrasts strongly with Google, Microsoft and IBM's relative inaction at this crucial juncture for the climate," said Casey Harrell, Greenpeace International Toxics Campaigner. "Other US IT companies continue to fund the Chambers destructive stance with large membership fees."

The next Cool IT leaderboard, with several new companies added in, will be released early 2010.

Other contacts: Prajna Khanna, Greenpeace International, Communications Project Manager Toxics, based in the Netherlands
Tel: + 31 (0) 20 718 2621
Mobile: + 31 (0) 6212 96896

Melanie Francis, Greenpeace International Climate Campaigner, based in the Netherlands
Mobile: +31 (0) 653 819121

Casey Harrell, Greenpeace International Toxics Campaigner, based in San Francisco
Mobile: +1 415 307 3382

Notes: (1) Ericsson's CEO has spoken out at several events recently including at the UN