How IBM Took Over As The Greenest Company In America

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          IBM is now the greenest company in America, according to Newsweek’s 2011 Green Rankings — moving up from its #3 ranking last year, and #5 in 2009. It helped that IBM removed toxic chemicals like PFOs and PFAs from all of its semiconductors in 2010, and that it’s set new standards for its suppliers and joined initiatives like the Carbon Disclosure Project.
Last year’s winner, Dell, fell to #5, mainly because it hasn’t been improving as fast as its competitors. While it’s focused on reducing waste in recent years, it hasn’t transformed its manufacturing and supply-chain operations to the extent that other companies have, which has affected its environmental footprint.
Tech companies still dominate the rest of Newsweek’s third-annual list of the top 500 most sustainable companies in the U.S. We’ve highlighted the top 10:
1. IBM

IBM has had a policy on environmental responsibility since 1971, and has really focused on cleaning up its supply chain in recent years.

2. Hewlett-Packard

Last year, HP removed mercury from all of their notebooks. It has recycled over 2.36 billion pounds of e-waste since 1987.

3. Sprint

Sprint released four eco-friendly phones and a mobile solar phone charger this year. One of its goals is to reuse or recycle 100 percent of its e-waste.

4. Baxter

Baxter breaks into the top ten and is the best in the healthcare industry, and has goals to reduce carbon emissions by 45%, reduce water use 35%, and increase renewable energy use 20% by 2015.

5. Dell

Dell switched to biodegradable packaging made from mushroom and bamboo. Dell is also trying to recycle 99 percent of their products by 2012.

6. Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson reduced the environmental impact of 17 products significantly. Meanwhile, it tripled its solar energy capacity. Its facilities produce up to 13 megawatts now.

7. Accenture

Accenture promotes environmental sustainability both within its company as well as with its partners and clients. In 2010, it helped publish “A New Era of Sustainability: UN Global Compact-Accenture CEO Study 2010.”

8. Office Depot

Up ten spots, Office Depot intends to source 80 percent of its materials from well-managed forests, reduce carbon footprint by 25%, and target $600 million in contract sales of green products by 2012.

9. CA Technologies

Its new $30 million facility in India is LEED Gold Certified. The CEO was a founding member of the CNBC Carbon Council. It also enforces a strict supplier code of conduct.


NVIDIA makes the biggest jump, rising from #188 in 2010. It is working to improve energy efficiency of computers with its new “Fermi” generation of GPUs.