Late last year, Newsweek released it’s list of the best environmentally-focused companies in the US, and the globe. IT companies were the clear leaders in the rankings, with Dell, HP and IBM taking the first three spots. However, the IT industry also has an enormous footprint.
Companies are devising solutions that save energy and reduce waste and this is driving innovation and creating an environment where being green is a competitive necesity. According Michael Mendenhall, HP’s chief marketing officer. “A lot of the innovation in this space is coming out of business pressure.” Here are the top 10 companies from NEWSWEEK’s list.
1. Dell is an industry leader in both company functions and product impact. In Newsweek’s list, Dell earned a perfect score of 100% for its strong environmental policies, including free recycling of products worldwide and a ban on the export of e-waste to developing countries. Perhaps most importantly for consumers, Dell manufactures some of the greenest electronics available on the market. Its desktops and laptops consume 25 percent less energy than systems produced in 2008, saving more than $5 billion in energy costs over the past few years.
2. Hewlett Packard (HP) has been an industry leader in environmental issues, its current IT systems use 66 percent less energy than those designed in 2005. The company’s belief that technology can improve society has led to programs that have reduced greenhouse-gas emissions and increased usage of renewable energy. In 2008. HP was the first major tech company to began reporting greenhouse gases associated with its supply chain. Compared to 2005 models, consumers could save more than $10.4 billion in energy costs and eliminate more than 40 million metric tons of CO2 in the first year. They earned a strong Environmental Impact Score of 90.60, and did very well in the Reputation Score.
3. IBM is reducing its own greenhouse gas emissions while offering products and consulting service to help clients to make their businesses greener. IBM has been reducing its own consumption of electricity and water for more than 20 years. (between 1990 and 2000 it reduced its energy use by 5.1 billion kilowatt hours). The company’s sustainability Management System technology, aims to help clients operate their commercial building more efficiently. They are also helping cities manage traffic congestion challenges. NEWSWEEK ranked IBM no 3 on the US list and No.1 on the global ranking.
4. Johnson & Johnson‘s has created climate-change policies, with clear goals and deadlines. They they achieved a 16 percent reduction of baseline CO2 emission levels between 1990 and 2010, which is more than double their planned reduction. Between 2005 and 2009, the company also reduced nonharzardous wase by 32 percent and hazardous waste by 32 percent, exceeding its goal of 10 percent. They have also met or exceeded their goals in paper, packaging, and energy efficiency. They have even installed solar panels in their New Jersey site. They earned a score of 98.86 in NEWSWEEK’s rankings.
5. Intel is committed to energy efficiency and has reduced waste and toxic materials. Where possible it is sourcing suitable alternatives to toxic materials. It also has high recycling rates for both hazardous and non-hazardous waste. The company ties a portion of its employees’ compensation to reaching environmental goals. The corporation has been the Environmental Protection Agency’s largest green power purchaser among Fortune 500 companies for the past three years, with almost half its US energy coming from renewable sources. NEWSWEEK’s Rankings gave them an environmental impact score of 95.74.
6. Sprint Nextel is increasing energy efficiency within its networks and using renewable energy. Sprint Nextel is the first US wireless provider to announce a target for reducing its absolute greenhouse-gas emissions. It is on track to reduce emissions by 15 percent between 2007 and 2017. The company offers three environmentally friendly phones and a leading product-recycling program that aims to recycle 99 percent of products. They scored 94.98 in NEWSWEEK’s rankings.
7. Adobe has focused on office building operations, waste management program, and product packaging. The company is leading in the area of green buildings, they currently have four buildings that have the highest level of the US Green Buildings Concil’s LEED certification. Employees within some of these buildings practice diligent recycling and composting. Adobe also launched an environmentally sensitive redesign of its software packaging. The firm’s overall Green Rankings score came in at 94.15.
8. Applied Materials is a supplier of manufacturing systems and services to the global semiconductor industry. Compared to 2006, it reduced CO2 emissions by 21 percent compared and reduced water usage by 18 percent. The company also has programs for reducing the hazardous waste it generates and the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) it emits as part of its manufacturing. It has also made significant strides in reducing solid waste sent to landfills by nearly 90 percent. It achieved a NEWSWEEK rating of 92.67.
9. Yahoo encourages its 600 million worldwide users to be environmentally aware. Its Yahoo Green site is the top destination on the Internet for green lifestyle tips. Yahoo is also a leader in improving the efficiency of its data centers. Its efforts include purchasing energy from renewable sources. Its new data center in Lockport, N.Y., which monitors the Yahoo infrastructure, consumes 40 percent less energy and uses 95 percent less water than conventional data centers. The water saved is enough to provide drinking water for 200,000 people for a year. NEWSWEEK gave them a score of 92.67.
10. Nike is working efficiency and use of renewable energy to achieve carbon neutrality by 2015. It has woven environmental issues into its supply chain considerations. Company programs evaluate and improve the environmental footprint of its suppliers, including checks on chemical toxicity, water use, and carbon emissions. Nike is also investing in new teleconferencing equipment to cut down on business travel and has an excellent Reputation Survey score of 97.39. The company’s overall Green Rankings score came in at 92.66.
The Most Important Green Business Stories of 2010
Predictions for Sustainable Business and the Green Economy
Best Green Tech Innovations of 2010
10 Best Eco-Inventions of 2010
Odd Yet Effective Green Inventions
Time’s Top 5 Green Energy Inventions of 2010
Best Green Automotive Innovations of 2010
Video: Planet 100’s Top 5 Green Inventions
Greenpeace’s Best Green Electronics
Greenpeace’s Ranking of Electronic Companies
Environmental Leader’s Most Read Stories of 2010
Sierra’s Top 5 Insider Reader Stories from 2010
THE GREEN MARKET’s Top 25 Environmental Stories of 2010
Best Green and Sustainable Business Twitter Feeds
Top 20 Green and Sustainable Business Facebook Groups
Portfolio 21’s Top 10 Green Investments for 2011
Video of the Top 10 Green Reads of the Decade