Greenpeace adding energy-consumption criteria to green rankings

Toshiba and Samsung now top the list of Greenpeace's quarterly greener electronics ranking, with scores of 7.7 out of ten, as reported by the IDG News Service. Meanwhile, Nintendo scrapes the bottom of the barrel with a score of 0.3. But what's even more interesting to me is what next June's report will look like. Seems the non-profit environmental organization is tweaking the criteria by which is assesses compa

Toshiba and Samsung now top the list of Greenpeace's quarterly greener electronics ranking, with scores of 7.7 out of ten, as reported by the IDG News Service. Meanwhile, Nintendo scrapes the bottom of the barrel with a score of 0.3. But what's even more interesting to me is what next June's report will look like.

Seems the non-profit environmental organization is tweaking the criteria by which is assesses companies's greeness: They'll be graded not only based on their recycling policies and the toxic content of their products, but also on energy consumption -- both of their wares and their production -- and their GHG emissions.

Explaining the change, the company writes on its Web site:

"The global Information and Communication Technology industry is estimated to be responsible for approximately 2 percent of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, a figure equivalent to aviation."

"The rapid proliferation of energy hungry gadgets is part of this emissions rise so it's vital that all companies play a leading role in producing more energy efficient products."

"We will be scoring the companies on 5 energy criteria, including the efficiency of their products, how much renewable energy they use and if they are committed to significantly reduce emissions."

While I've dinged Greenpeace in the past for what I considered unfair criticism of Apple's environmental practices, I do see value in the group's efforts to encourage more sustainable practices from electronics vendors. Adding criteria around energy consumption certainly makes sense; it's a factor on the mind of many IT customers out there looking to reduce the power bills (and associated carbon emissions).

If you're in the market for new machine that fits certain green criteria, you might be better served using the EPEAT site, where products, rather than companies, are ranked by their level of eco-friendliness. All products listed there comply with Energy Star 4.0 and the ROHS. It's not a perfect system, but a good one nonetheless.

However, if you're looking to develop a deeper relationship with a vendor, be it as an investor or a partner, and your company has made being green a high priority, the Greenpeace rankings could serve as a useful resource. After all, even if your company has clean, green operations, associating with companies that don't can potentially hurt your reputation.

Those are my two cents, anyway. I'm curious what you think about Greenpeace's green rankings. Is there any value to them?

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