Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Google and Cisco Have Best 2013 Energy Records, Says Greenpeace

The tech companies with the strongest recent records on energy are Google and Cisco, according to an annual ranking released by Greenpeace today.

GreenpeaceGreenpeace praised Google and SoftBank for their energy investments (Google has funded $1 billion in clean energy projects since 2010) and legislative advocacy. Cisco won praise for its long-term commitments to move away from coal.

Meanwhile, Wipro and Sprint worked on behalf of renewable energy legislation in India and the U.S. over the past year.

Hewlett-Packard is credited for increasing its products’ energy efficiency by 50 percent since 2005. And way down in 12th place, Microsoft is described as “most improved” for its work on wind energy tax incentives, though it was dinged for giving money to fossil fuel lobbying groups.

Greenpeace’s scoring system is somewhat opaque (it’s explained in detail here), but it evaluates operations, products and pro-green advocacy. With a total possible score of 100, Google and Cisco tied, with 58 points each.

But, um, aren’t there a few tech companies missing here? Greenpeace said it did not include Apple, Facebook and Amazon in the report “because their operations are not broad enough to be compared to companies who offer energy solutions to climate change as core aspects of their business models” — though that seems a bit arbitrary, especially if Google is being counted. Apple, especially, has tussled with Greenpeace in the past over descriptions of its energy usage.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik