Wipro takes top spot in green electronics rankings

Wipro takes top spot in green electronics rankings

Indian tech giant Wipro has parachuted into the top spot in Greenpeace's latest green electronics rankings, after winning plaudits for its ambitious commitments to cutting carbon emissions and sourcing energy from renewable sources.

Greenpeace today unveiled its 18th annual Guide to Greener Electronics, ranking 16 leading global companies in the market for mobile devices, PCs and TVs, based on their environmental policies and impacts.

Greenpeace each year selects which companies to rank based on latest industry sales figures and global market share for the previous year.

Two Indian firms made their debut in the league table this year having only previously been included in Greenpeace's national rankings.

According to the campaign group, Wipro showed leadership in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, having adopted a target to cut emissions 44 percent between 2008 and 2015, while delivering 85 percent of its emission reductions through the greater use of renewable energy.

The company has also integrated energy efficiency into its product design, and received the maximum score available from Greenpeace for a take-back policy that promotes the collection and recycling of post-consumer e-waste.

Another Indian outsourcing giant, HCL Infosystems, also joined the rankings for the first time in joint 13th position, alongside electronics giant Sharp.

HCL scored well for its disclosure of greenhouse gas emission levels across its entire operations, but was slammed for failing to set an ambitious target for increasing its use of renewable energy.

Last year's top performer, HP, fell to second place behind Wipro, despite scoring maximum points for its paper procurement policy, which bans suppliers linked to illegal logging.

Image by tkemot via Shutterstock

Meanwhile, BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) remained at the bottom of the table, where it debuted last year. The company scored particularly poorly in the energy criteria, although Greenpeace acknowledged significant progress had been made in boosting its products' energy efficiency.

Acer was hailed as the most improved company, after moving up nine places to fourth for setting new targets to cut its GHG emissions, and engaging with its suppliers to tackle hazardous substances, conflict minerals and unsustainable fibre sourcing.

Nokia moved up from fourth place to third, while Dell dropped to fifth position.

Apple fell to sixth place and was criticised again for a lack of transparency on emissions reporting, clean energy advocacy, provision of information on its management of toxic chemicals and its approach to post-consumer recycled plastic use.

Greenpeace has been particularly critical recently of Apple's decision to glue in batteries in its newest Macbook Pro, which according to the campaign group makes it difficult to repair or recycle the devices.

Samsung came in seventh place, followed by Sony in eigth, Lenovo was ninth, Philips came in at 10, Panasonic at number 11 and LGE at number 12.

Toshiba dropped to 15th place, after scoring poorly for its lack of a clean energy strategy or plans to boost the energy efficiency of its products.

Casey Harrell, Greenpeace international IT analyst, said overall the findings showed companies had made progress in phasing out toxic chemicals from products, but they were struggling to tackle operational and supply chain emissions.

"Companies should work with their suppliers to implement more efficient manufacturing processes and to power the supply chain with renewable energy, not fossil fuels, just as they have successfully done to reduce the toxic materials in electronics," he said.

Greenpeace India senior campaigner, Abhishek Pratap, said IT companies in the country should aim to emulate the efforts of Wipro.

"Wipro has set a new benchmark for sustainability, not only in India but across the globe, that will have a long-term impact in shaping the green energy debate in the electronics industry," he said.

"The rest of the electronics sector should follow in the footsteps of Wipro's climate leadership."

This piece originally appeared on Business Green and is reprinted with permission.