Cool IT Leaders Needed to Tackle Global Warming
Despite having massive potential to cut greenhouse gas
emissions, the IT industry is not yet delivering, according to the first
results of Greenpeace s Cool IT challenge.
While governments across the globe are debating climate-saving policy, it is
disappointing that innovative IT companies who stand to profit handsomely from
tech solutions that reduce greenhouse gases, are sitting on the fence when it
comes to advocating for science-based greenhouse gas emissions cuts, said
Zeina Al Hajj, head of Greenpeace International’s Toxics Campaign.
Greenpeace s Cool IT challenge was launched in February this year to gauge
how CEOs of IT companies are prioritizing environment-friendly policies.
The first results are in favor of Sun Microsystems, which has called publicly
for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 80% below 1990 levels by 2050,
and a cut of at least 25% below 1990 levels by 2020.
Greenpeace also hailed IBM, which is in joint-lead with Sun
in the standings, mainly due to its wide range of solutions, and Fujitsu for openly
addressing the need to measure net emissions reductions that result from the
solutions they propose for the rest of the economy.
However, leading names such as HP, Microsoft and Sony, among
other IT giants, score less than 15 points out of the maximum of 100 available,
The IT industry calculates that it could enable more than
15% cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. However, it needs to look
beyond just cutting its own internal emissions and deliver climate solutions
for the rest of the economy, said Greenpeace, while urging IT giants to use
their influence and call upon world leaders to deliver a climate-saving deal at
the UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen this December.
Greenpeace s Cool IT Challenge was launched in February this
year with a letter to the CEOs of the major IT companies asking them to prioritize
climate change in 2009.
The CEOs were asked to show leadership by:
* Providing IT solutions and accurately measuring the impact
of the solutions they propose for the rest of the economy, in areas such as
electricity grid transmission, transport, and building efficiency;
* Lobbying for a strong climate deal in Copenhagen; a deal
that will stimulate an increase in demand for IT-driven climate solutions by
the rest of the economy(5); and
* Reducing their own emissions and increasing their use of
The majority of IT
companies talk big about going green , rather than giving any real evidence of
how their software and hardware is actually reducing emissions. It is high time
they put their money where their mouths are and deliver real evidence of their
solutions in action, said Melanie Francis, Greenpeace International Climate
The second set of results for the Cool IT challenge will
be coming later this summer.
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