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April 29, 2013

Cisco, Google Share Top Spot on Cool IT Leaderboard
    by Robert Kropp

The sixth edition of the Greenpeace ranking of companies in the information technology sector focuses on political advocacy for effective climate change legislation.

SocialFunds.com -- Greenpeace has been publishing its Cool IT Leaderboard through six editions now, ranking companies in the information technology (IT) sector according to their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and advocate for meaningful legislation addressing climate change.

"This will be a critical year in many countries to determine whether there will be a meaningful break in the status quo energy policies," Greenpeace states, and because of that the environmental advocacy organizations says it will update its ranking of IT companies according to their advocacy efforts throughout the year.

"This Leaderboard shows an increased assessment of negative lobbying penalty points for IT companies who support front groups or trade associations that are actively working to undermine government policies to address climate change and promote renewable energy investments," Greenpeace adds. "The sector still lacks leadership in demanding the policy changes needed to drive investment in clean technology and renewable energy deployment."

While companies in the IT sector are not among those that have the highest direct impacts on climate change, the energy demands within the sector are rapidly increasing as global telecom infrastructures and data centers powering cloud computing expand. Also, information technology is crucial for companies in other sectors in their efforts to measure and manage their emissions reduction strategies.

This year's edition of the Leaderboard features Cisco and Google tied for first in the rankings. Cisco was cited for its "recent adoption of performance-based goals for its facilities, defined by the emissions factor of the local electricity." Google, Greenpeace states, "continues to pursue a number of different strategies to secure more renewable energy by directly purchasing it wherever possible."

Google finished first in last year's rankings, thanks in large part to its disclosure of energy usage. Cisco ranked first in 2010.

Oracle and Tata Communication Services, on the other hand, "have been dropped from this edition due to a significant decline in performance."

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