IT & Data Centres Supreme: Dell is Number One Green Company

IT & Data Centres Supreme: Dell is Number One Green Company

Based on their strong Environmental Impact, plus Reputation score, and excellent Green Policies, Dell was the No. 1 US company in NEWSWEEK’s 2010 Green Rankings. Others in the top ten were Nike, IBM, Intel, Adobe, Yahoo, Applied Materials, Sprint Nextel, Johnson & Johnson, & Hewlett Packard. Meanwhile Queensland’s Strategic Directions a its Partnership with AFCOM®, the world’s leading data centre association. 

By David Bicknell for ComputerWeekly (27 October 2010):

My previous post listed the Top 5 rankings both in the US and globally from Newsweek’s research. Here are Newsweek’s profiles of its Top 10 greenest US companies.

No 10. Nike

Nike stands out for its particularly strong commitment to handling environmental issues in its supply chain. The company has a number of programs in place for evaluating and improving the environmental footprint of its suppliers, including checks on chemical toxicity, water use, and carbon emissions. Nike is also progressing toward carbon neutrality itself and aims to achieve it for company-owned facilities and business travel by 2015. The company has worked to improve its own environmental performance through increased efficiency and use of renewable energy. For instance, it has reduced energy use substantially at some of its facilities by installing energy efficient lighting and HVAC systems, and its headquarters in Belgium and the Netherlands currently run on 100 percent renewable energy (the Belgium facility actually produces more energy than it uses). Nike is also investing in new teleconferencing equipment to cut down on business travel. Nike had a Reputation Survey score of 97.39 (based on a survey of academics, sustainability experts, and CEOs).

No 9. Yahoo

Yahoo. This Internet giant encourages its 600 million worldwide users to be environmentally aware. Its Yahoo Green site is the top destination on the Internet for green lifestyle tips. The company has also supported and worked on related initiatives, including its “Be a Better Planet” program and its annual Earth Day Web site. Yahoo is also a leader in improving the efficiency of its data centres. Its efforts include purchasing energy from renewable sources, such as hydroelectric facilities, and locating new data centres in cooler climates to reduce AC needs. Its new data centre in Lockport, N.Y., which monitors the Yahoo infrastructure, consumes 40 percent less energy and uses 95 percent less water than conventional data centres. The water saved is enough to provide drinking water for 200,000 people for a year.

No 8. Applied Materials

This supplier of manufacturing systems and services to the global semiconductor industry made great strides in reducing CO2 emissions and water use last year, cutting each by 21 percent and 18 percent, respectively, compared to 2006 levels. Both those reductions exceeded Applied Materials’ greening goals, but Applied also acknowledges 2009 was an “unusual” year and says it is reviewing internal data to try to maintain and improve on those numbers. The company also has programs for reducing the hazardous waste it generates and the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) it emits as part of its manufacturing. It has also made significant strides in reducing solid waste sent to landfills by nearly 90 percent.

No 7. Adobe.

Three areas on which Adobe has focused are their office building operations, their waste management program, and their product packaging. The company currently has four buildings that are LEED certified by the U.S. Green Building Council at the Platinum (highest) level, making Adobe a world leader in this area. Employees at the company’s headquarters in San Jose, Calif., also actively recycle and compost, diverting up to 97 percent of the site’s solid waste from landfill. Lastly, Adobe launched an environmentally sensitive redesign of its software packaging based on an evaluation of its packaging materials, production, use, and disposal. The firm’s overall Green Rankings green score came in at 94.15.

No 6. Sprint Nextel

Sprint Nextel was the first U.S.-based wireless provider to announce a target for reducing its absolute greenhouse-gas emissions. The goal: reduce emissions by 15 percent between 2007 and 2017 by improving energy efficiency within its networks, and by using renewable energy sources, such as hydrogen fuel cells, to replace backup generators at its cell towers. The company boasts a portfolio of three environmentally friendly phones, which is unusual in the industry. It also has a well-known product-recycling program in which customers can return their old cell phones, batteries, and accessories, regardless of brand, to Sprint for free using a postage-paid label. In some cases, Sprint will even buy back old equipment. Their aim is to recycle 99 percent of products; as of 2009 they were recycling nearly half.

No 5. Intel

Intel’s efforts to reduce waste and to mitigate its use and release of toxics are notable. It has high recycling rates for both hazardous and non-hazardous waste and is working to find suitable alternatives for toxic components in its products. Intel also has a strong commitment to energy efficiency. The company ties a portion of its employees’ compensation to reaching environmental goals, and its Intel Core and Atom chips are among its greenest products. The corporation has been the Environmental Protection Agency’s largest green power purchaser among Fortune 500 companies for the past three years, with almost half its U.S. energy coming from renewable sources. NEWSWEEK’s Rankings gave them an environmental impact score of 95.74.

No 4. Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson stands out among its competitors for its climate-change policies, with clear goals and deadlines for reducing its greenhouse gas emissions. This includes the reduction of baseline 1990 CO2 emission levels by 7 percent by 2010—, goal the company surpassed with a 16 percent absolute reduction. Between 2005 and 2009, the company also reduced nonhazardous waste by 32 percent and hazardous waste by 32 percent, exceeding its goal of 10 percent. Similar goals in paper, packaging, and energy efficiency have been met or improved on through steps like the company’s largest installation of solar panels at a New Jersey site. As a result, a comprehensive assessment of their environmental initiatives earned them a Green Policies score of 98.86 in our rankings.

No 3. IBM.

This global technology manufacturer has a strong program for reducing its own greenhouse gas emissions and also offers products and consulting services to help clients make their businesses greener. IBM set out in the 1990s to reduce its own consumption of electricity and water, and between 1990 and 2000 cut its energy use by 5.1 billion kilowatt hours, enough to power a medium-size town. The company’s newest venture, its Sustainability Management System technology, aims to help clients operate their commercial buildings more efficiently. The product was a home-grown solution, allowing an IBM semiconductor factory in Burlington, Vt., to cut water usage (a key ingredient in chip-making) by 30 percent. The company has also participated in a pilot program to reduce Stockholm’s traffic congestion, which resulted in a 14 percent drop in emissions from road traffic in the inner city. IBM is working with London, Singapore, and Brisbane to address their traffic-management and congestion challenges. For its overall excellent scores, IBM ranked No. 3 on the U.S. list and No. 1 on the Global ranking.

No 2. Hewlett Packard

HP has long been an industry leader in environmental issues. The company dates its commitment to the philosophy of its founders, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, who believed technology can improve society. One of its most notable programs aims to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and use renewable energy. In 2008, HP began reporting greenhouse gases associated with its supply chain, making it the first major tech company to do so. It is also working to reduce the energy use of its products. If all the printers, PCs, and servers shipped in 2005 (all models, all brands, globally) were recycled and replaced with new HP energy-efficient models, the company estimates customers could save more than $10.4 billion in energy costs and avoid the release of more than 40 million metric tons of CO2 in the first year. That’s equivalent to shutting down 10 coal plants for an entire year. In addition to a strong Environmental Impact Score (90.60), the company did very well in our Reputation Score, making it a close second to Dell.

No 1. Dell

Dell has built its sustainability strategy over the years by setting a series of ambitious goals, several of which it has already met. In 2008, the company announced it would reduce its total emissions by 40 percent by 2015. It is well on the way to achieving that goal. Many of Dell’s efforts are also focused on reducing the environmental impact of its products at all stages of their life cycles, from design to disposal. The company’s laptops and desktops are now built to use 25 percent less energy than comparable systems made in 2005. That effort, among others, has saved its customers more than $5 billion in energy costs over the past few years. The company has also used 7.2 million pounds of post-consumer recycled plastic to build new computers–the equivalent of recycling 263 million water bottles. Dell also has one of the tech industry’s most comprehensive recycling programs. The company takes back and recycles any of its products for free, and will also take back competitors’ products at no cost with the purchase of new Dell computers or peripherals. Consumers can also mail back old equipment, Dell will pick up items at their homes, or they can drop them off at more than 2,000 Goodwill or 1,500 Staples locations. Based on their strong Environmental Impact score, Reputation score, and excellent Green Policies score, Dell was the No. 1 company in NEWSWEEK’s 2010 Green Rankings.



Strategic Directions announces Partnership with AFCOM®, the world’s leading data centre association 

Strategic Directions Group joins a small, elite group of international Companies as a Strategic Partner with AFCOM, providing thought leadership, education and solutions to the data centre industry.

As a leading designer and planner of best practice data centre facilities, Strategic Directions is committed to the development of alternate energy options and has undertaken significant research into the use of energy sources such as wind, solar, biomass, gas, geothermal and hydro.  The company will share its knowledge and findings with the wider data centre community, given the growing financial and social implications of “data centre greening” around the world.

The partnership follows the appointment of Strategic Directions Director Mike Andrea to AFCOM’s Data Centre Institute Board of Directors earlier this year.

Strategic Directions will help with the establishment of AFCOM Chapters throughout the Asia Pacific Region, by highlighting the strong End-User focus and the vendor independent nature of the international AFCOM Forum.


The Strategic Directions Group are ICT Master Planners and Strategists, providing vendor independent strategic advice to Federal, State, and Local Government Agencies and ASX Companies.

The Company maintains Practices dedicated to ICT Strategy, Telecommunications and Networking, Project Governance, and Data Centre design and planning.

Strategic Directions were the ICT Master Planners for Greater Springfield, outside Brisbane, Queensland, Australia..



AFCOM is a leading association supporting the educational and professional development needs of data centre professionals around the globe. Established in 1980, AFCOM currently boasts more than 4,000 members and 40 chapters worldwide, and provides data centre professionals with unique networking opportunities and educational forums and resources through its annual Data Centre World Conferences, published magazines, regional chapters, research and hotline services, and industry alliances.


Leave a Reply