Environmental Ratings in 2010

Green Blog

The Official Blog of Microsoft's
Environmental Sustainability Team

Environmental Ratings in 2010

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Each year a variety of organizations publish ratings on the progress they are seeing from corporations on environmental issues. This year was no different and we wanted to share some of them to show how they view our progress on sustainability.   

First up is the non-profit organization Climate Counts, which works to raise consumer and corporate awareness of climate impact and corporate responsibility.  They recently announced their 2010 rankings and Microsoft received their highest category of rating, ‘Striding’.   Microsoft sits atop the Internet/Software sector in the ranking and Climate Counts recognizes us for our work toward energy efficiency, reducing our corporate footprint, and for being transparent about the progress we are making as a company.      

Greenpeace has two technology industry rankings that include Microsoft, the Cool IT Leaderboard and Guide to Greener Electronics. The company ranks in the middle of the pack in the Cool IT Leaderboard (here) and has ground to make up in the Greener Electronics ranking as we currently rank toward the bottom (here).  Our European Union Government Affairs Manager Ray Pinto recently talked with Greenpeace from COP16 about the company’s efforts and the opportunities we see ahead for the use of IT toward environmental issues. That story is posted here.         

There are also a couple news organizations that rank companies. In September Newsweek announced its second annual Green Rankings of the 500 largest US companies.  Microsoft ranked #29 overall this year and finished 12 of 29 companies in the technology sector.  US-based Computerworld also rated technology vendors and data center suppliers in their Top Green IT organizations rankings.  Companies were judged on their corporate IT departments’ efforts to reduce energy consumption in their IT equipment, and to use technology to conserve energy and lower carbon emissions. This year we placed 10th of 12 top Green IT vendors.   

Lastly, Gartner and World Wildlife Fund partnered on a report called the Low-Carbon and Environmental Leadership in the ICT Industry.  Microsoft ranked in the middle of this report too which looks at information and communication technology (ICT) industry providers and ranks them based on their assessment of a company’s commitment to sustainability and creating solutions. 

So what do all these rankings mean? For our team, they’re good to reflect on as we look back at the year.  Rankings from external parties provide us with a way to help benchmark and track how others view our work – whether we agree or disagree.  We are certainly proud of the work we’ve accomplished and the progress we’re seeing at our company.  We are flattered that we’re receiving high marks by some, but we acknowledge our critics too.  Do we have more work to do?  Absolutely. We see the opportunity to improve in a variety of areas and remain committed to doing so.  Now, onward to 2011.


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