Google tops Greenpeace Cool IT list

Green computing

Greenpeace has revealed the results of its Cool IT Leaderboard for 'greenest' technology company, and it's Google in the lead running ahead of 20 other companies.

Google received an overall high score of 53 out of 100 with the highest marks for its IT energy impact mitigation strategies and increases in political advocacy.

According to the full report from Greenpeace, Google plans to increase its use of renewable energy from 25 per cent in 2011 to 35 per cent in 2012. Greenpeace gave Google high scores for its direct investments in large-scale renewable energy resources such as offshore wind transmission and geothermal energy.

It is disappointing that the industry as a whole is failing to fulfill its potential.

Google also plans to increase current renewable energy purchasing from 25 per cent to 35 per cent of its total energy use.

However, what really set Google apart from other companies in the race, including big names like Cisco and HP, was its impressive increase in political activity and lobbying for greener practices.

"Along with Vodafone, Google was the only other Leaderboard company to clearly support the strengthening of the EU's current 20 per cent greenhouse gas target to 30 per cent by 2020," the report read.

Google also lobbied in support of stronger energy efficiency legislation in California, which was opposed by industry trade groups.

The US remains the number one electricity consumer in the world.

Overall however, Greenpeace was very disappointed with the political performance from tech companies.

"Unfortunately there was a notable drop in scores on political advocacy across the industry," Gary Cook said in his Greenpeace blog.

"With the urgent need for cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions, tech firms are failing to speak up against those dirty energy companies guilty of stalling climate change policy at all levels of government."

Although Google came out on top in the IT Leaderboard, Greenpeace was disappointed with Google's decision to delete its PowerMeter platform.

"PowerMeter provided an easy way for customers to track and manage their electricity use in their home in real time if they had an energy monitor or an electric utility that supported the PowerMeter web portal," the report read.

While Google's efforts have been well received the industry still has a long way to go, according to Cook.

"The industry's energy footprint is growing, and with so many new communities gaining access to mobile phones, tablets, and green building techniques that use innovative IT technology, it won't be decreasing anytime soon," he said.

"While it is exciting to see the leadership by some of the companies on the Leaderboard, like Google, it is disappointing that the industry as a whole is failing to fulfill its potential."