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March 17, 2015updated 22 Sep 2016 11:46am

Who are the top 10 greenest tech companies?

CBR has compiled a list of the big tech companies that are leading the way when it comes to being green.

By James Nunns

Tech companies aren’t just leading the way in new technologies, they are also leading the way when it comes to saving the world from climate change. CBR has compiled a list of the top companies who are doing their upmost to operate in an environmentally friendly way.

1. Dell

Dell is keen to decrease the energy requirements of its data centres and hardware and has been working to reduce its environmental impact.

The company has been one of the leading innovators in the tech sector when it comes to packaging and recycling and in 2014 the company launched its ‘2020 Legacy of Good’ plan.

In the plan, the company has set goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its facilities and logistics operations, as well as reducing the energy intensity of its product portfolio by 80%.

The company has set a number of other environmentally friendly goals, but only time will tell if they can achieve them.

2. IBM

IBM has been one of the ‘green’ leaders in tech for a number of years, dating back to 1967 when it issued its first policy on environmental affairs.

Big Blue states on its website that they will: "Use development and manufacturing processes that do not adversely affect the environment, including developing and improving operations and technologies to minimize waste, prevent air, water, and other pollution, minimize health and safety risks, and dispose of waste safely and responsibly."

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The company is very open about its achievements and failings when it comes to its environmental policy, for example detailing its hazardous waste performances.

3. Cisco

Cisco has been working hard to meet targets on Greenhouse gasses, which it met in 2012 and is now working work to reduce them further.

The company has in the past year built 3 solar photovoltaic systems in Texas and Bangalore, which will produce 2 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually and save over $380,000. They also help to prevent more than 1150 metric tonne of carbon emissions each year.

Cisco has built into its products, solutions which aim to reduce energy use such as EnergyWise and JouleX, which reduce energy consumption in commercial and residential buildings.

Cisco can also boast that 100% of its key manufacturing and logistics suppliers report their Greenhouse gas emissions to the Carbon Disclosure Project.


4. Adobe

Adobe has long had a green outlook, whether it’s focusing on energy conservation, green buildings or waste reduction.

The company was one of the founding members of the U.S. Green Building Council’s, ‘Building Health Initiative,’ and has also invested in renewable energy technologies such as Windspire wind turbines and Bloom Energy fuel cells, which powers several of its California facilities.


5. Apple

Apple is very keen on having a good image, whether it comes to its products or how they operate. Therefore, it is unsurprising to see that it is working hard to be as green as they can be.

The company states to be the only company which runs its data centres through 100% renewable energy and also has a product range which exceeds the ENERGY STAR guidelines.

The company has the goal of powering all of its stores and offices with renewable energy and as of 2013 it had reached 73%, with expectations to reach 100% in the near future.

6. Panasonic

Panasonic has, like IBM, been working for decades to operate in an environmentally friendly way, with the company announcing in 1991 its ‘Environmental Statement.’

The company has even introduced its own indicator for CO2 emissions, "the size of contribution in reducing CO2 emissions," which is designed to strengthen the reduction during product use.

Panasonic has an environmental action plan, the: "Green Plan 2018," which was established in 2010 and is part of the ongoing effort to reduce CO2.

Other elements of the plan include, resources recycling, water conservation, reducing the impact of chemical substances and an effort to conserve biodiversity.


7. Nokia

Nokia is working to save energy, water and other resources in addition to looking to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

The company is working to design smart applications in order to manage electricity grids to help create a low carbon economy.

It managed to cut its CO2 emissions by 30% a year earlier than planned and is purchasing certified renewable energy from the grid.

It has also been working to refurbish its buildings in order to make them more energy efficient.


8. Sony

Sony’s philosophy on being green is that: "Sony strives to achieve a zero environmental footprint throughout the lifecycle of our products and business activities."

The company is working towards zero usage of key resources such as oil and certain metals, and with this in mind it is trying to develop products which are smaller and lighter as well as reducing the use of virgin plastics.

Along with these philosophies, the company’s Computer Science Laboratory is conducting research on Open Energy Systems in order to make possible ultra-distributed electricity.

It is also developing improved battery storage and organic TFT-driven OLED displays, all in the vision of reducing the amount of materials and energy that are used in the manufacturing process.


9. Google

The tech giant is pushing to be greener by using renewable energies and by being efficient in both its use and development of systems and devices.

The company has been carbon neutral since 2007 and is funding $1.5bn worth of renewable energy projects. Google states that: "When added up, these projects represent a total capacity of over 2.5 GW, which is far more electricity than we use. To put this in context, this electricity is equivalent to that consumed by around 500,000 homes."

Google’s data centres claim to be some of the most energy efficient in the world, using only 50% of the energy of most other data centres.

Although not as green with renewable energy as some of the others on this list, considering its size, the use of 35% renewable energy is still nothing to be sniffed at.


10. Fujitsu

Since 1993 the company has set environmental action plans in order to consider the environment.

Fujitsu has set down principles for producing technologies which improve environmental efficiency through advanced technology.

It is the first ICT services company to be certified under Japan’s Ministry for the Environment’s "Eco-First Program." This means that the company is fully committed to countering climate change, conserving biodiversity and promoting environmental protection initiatives.

The company has achieved reductions in Greenhouse gasses and has increased generation capacity and procurement of renewable energy. It is well on its way to becoming one of the greenest companies around.

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