IBM beats Apple on green scorecard

An organic climate change lobby group has issued green ratings for hardware and software-based IT suppliers as well as other businesses. IBM leads the IT pack while Apple, Amazon and eBay are bottom with zero green credentials.

The lobby group is Climate Counts and it is funded by Stonyfield Yogurt, a producer of organic yoghurt, and Clean Air-Cool Planet (CA-CP), a nonprofit organization based in the USA’s New England region and dedicated to finding and promoting solutions to global warming.

Stonyfield and CA-CP got together with GreenOrder, a New York-based consultancy, to devise the supplier rating scheme. According to Fortune magazine, ‘Green Order advises Fortune 500 clients on how to make money by going green.’ The client would be Stonyfield in this case.

GreenOrder provided strategic guidance on the Climate Counts program, assisted in the development of the scoring system, and has verified the scoring results for accuracy.

Climate Counts use a 0-to-100 point scale and 22 criteria to determine if companies have measured their climate footprint, reduced their global warming impact, support or oppose ‘progressive climate legislation’ and have made clear and comprehensive public disclosures about their climate actions’. The higher the Climate Counts score, the greater the company’s commitment to fighting global warming.

IT sector company scores are led by IBM with 70. HP has 59, Sony 51 and Dell 41. Yahoo! has 36, like Hitachi, and Microsoft has 31. Then Google is awarded a low 17 with eBay and Apple having a derisory 2 and Amazon zero.

It is apparent from the scorecard that the green analysis is not very sophisticated. For example, Lenovo is classed as an IBM brand and not treated as a separate company. There is no attempt to rank companies on absolute carbon emissions or carbon intensity, that is emissions related to business model, head count and/or revenue. To give Google a 17 with all the efforts Google is making to reduce its emissions and couple that with Dell at 41 and Apple at 2; both companies making strenuous attempts to ‘green’ their operations, makes the Climate Counts effort seem almost naive.

Certainly its efforts differ substantially from those of Greenpeace.

The main founder, Stonyfield, claims it was ‘America’s first manufacturer to offset 100 percent of its CO2 emissions from its facility energy use.’

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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