Dell, HP, Microsoft and Apple Seen as Greenest Tech Companies

Dell, HP, Microsoft and Apple Seen as Greenest Tech Companies

U.S. consumers view Dell, HP, Microsoft and Apple as the greenest tech companies of the land at a time when green factors are emerging as a "critical-mass" consideration, according to a new survey released by Ipsos Insight.

The marketing research consultancy firm conducted an online survey to gauge the importance American consumers place on green tech practices and brands. Ipsos concluded that while green considerations are growing in importance, the ability of claiming a green leadership position among tech brands is "fragmented."

For instance, Dell, HP and Microsoft each garnered 19 percent of the vote from respondents when asked which companies they associate with environmentally-friendly business practices. Apple followed close behind with 18 percent.

"To some extent the rank order of these brand mentions seems to mirror their prominence in the Tech landscape, if you factor in Apple's increased exposure in recent years," said Todd Board, senior vice president of Ipsos Insight's media, entertainment and technology practice. "At the same time, it's something of a 'halo index,' in that there's precious little information available to consumers for them to really assess how green one Tech firm is versus another."

A second tier of brands that included Kodak, Sony, Gateway, IMB and Motorola each received between 10 percent and 14 percent of the vote.

"So when we see a Kodak, Sony or IBM emerge here, to some extent we're seeing more generalized brand affinity being transferred to this green dimension," Board said. "Of all the brands here who might see an unexpected opportunity, Gateway may be the most intriguing."

Board noted that respondents held green-related expectations for U.S.-based brands. This was reflected in the fact that brands headquartered in the U.S., with the exception of Sony, received more green votes, which adds pressure for companies to monitor environmentally-oriented business practices across their global operations.

The purchases of more than half of respondents are influenced an Energy Star label, the survey found. Manufacturer commitment to environmentally-friendly product recycling and meeting Environmental Protection Agency standards for the disposals also heavily influenced purchasing decisions, followed by green energy inputs to production, using recycled elements in product manufacture and contributions to environmental causes.

"As these green issues emerge as more mainstream considerations, what's striking is their overall consistency regardless of age, gender, income, or where people live," Board said.

"However, it is interesting to note that college-educated Americans place more value on each of these factors, except contributions to environmental causes, than other Americans do. We also see more importance placed on the Energy Star rating among Americans with incomes over $50,000. So the influence of these environmentally friendly purchase factors is a bit more prominent among more socially influential consumers."