At a time when industry is reeling under the impact of the global economic meltdown, efficient energy solutions are being touted as a viable answer to cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Despite having a massive capacity to cut greenhouse gas emissions, the IT industry is not yet delivering on its potential according to the first results of the Greenpeace’s ‘Cool IT Challenge’. The IT industry calculates it could enable cuts of over 15 per cent in global greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. The Cool IT scorecard was released coinciding with the ‘IT, Environment and Climate Change Conference’ being held in Copenhagen today.
Greenpeace’s Cool IT Challenge was kick-started in February this year, asking CEOs of the major IT companies on their companies’ specific actions prioritising climate change.
In the report card, scores have been given based on their responses to certain requests urging them to show leadership by in providing IT solutions and accurately measuring impact of the solutions they propose for the rest of the economy, lobbying for a strong climate deal in Copenhagen to create a stimulus for an increase in demand for IT-driven climate solutions by the rest of the economy and reducing their own emissions and increasing their use of renewable energy.
Leading the table was Sun Microsystems, which has advocated a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 80 per cent below the 1990 levels by 2050 and at least 25 per cent reduction (below 1990 levels) by 2020. IBM is joint top of table due to its range of solutions. Interestingly, Fujitsu addresses the need to measure “net” emissions reductions that result from solutions they propose for the rest of the economy. But names like HP, Microsoft and Sony are amongst IT giants who score less than 15 out of 100.
All IT companies ranked in the report fared poorly on demonstrable climate solutions for the economy despite their claims.
Recent studies suggest the ICT sector’s services and products could cut global emissions by an estimated 15 per cent when applied to industry, buildings, transportation and power sectors. “This would not only save the world from a climate catastrophe but also enable India to become an “energy secure” country. Today, the ICT sector has the opportunity to walk the green talk and become heroes in the fight against climate change,” said a Greenpeace climate campaigner.
“The ICT sector needs to look beyond just cutting its own emissions and must deliver on its potential to provide far-reaching climate business solutions for the rest of the economy”, said Abhishek Pratap, Toxics Campaigner, Greenpeace.
The ICT sector has already taken responsibility and is cleaning up its act by tackling the e-waste problem in India.
Similar to Greenpeace’s Guide to Greener Electronics, the Cool IT Challenge scorecard will be updated regularly, with the second edition due late summer.