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Google Jumps to 1st Place in Cool IT Climate Rankings

Google has secured the top spot in Greenpeace’s Cool IT Leaderboard, with 53 points, up from 47 points and fourth place in the rankings’ last edition.

The search giant is followed by Cisco – down from 1st place – and a tie between Ericsson and Fujitsu. Oracle continues to bring up the rear, as it did when it debuted in the last version of the rankings.

The leaderboard compares global IT companies on their efforts to fight climate change, with scores evaluating them in three categories: IT Climate Solutions, IT Energy Impact and Political Advocacy.

Greenpeace says that since it first published the rankings in May 2009, it has seen companies steadily increase the number and strength of their products and services for managing energy. Cisco, IBM, Ericsson and Fujitsu are all good examples of that, it says.

At the same time, Greenpeace says companies have significantly reduced their efforts to advocate for policies that push investment in green technology.

One exception is Softbank, a new addition to the rankings in this edition, Version 5. Greenpeace says the company been calling for a transition from nuclear to renewable power in Japan since the Fukushima nuclear accident. Softbank gets the highest score in the advocacy category since the Leaderboard was launched.

Greenpeace says that in the IT Energy Impact category, Google, Cisco, and Dell all stand out by deriving over 20 percent of their energy from renewables.

Google also scores a point for disclosing its carbon footprint and committing to a carbon-neutral goal. Last September the company published its carbon footprint and energy consumption data for the first time, announcing that it generated 1.46 million metric tons of carbon and consumed 2,259,998 MWh in 2010.

However, Greenpeace says these actions are very weak when compared to other companies that have clear targets for cutting their absolute carbon emissions.

The non-profit’s [E]nergy Revolution blueprint says that 95 percent of  global energy needs could met by renewable energy by 2050, but that this would require significant disruption of the “centralized dirty energy business model” used by ICT companies.

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