Thursday, 28 May 2009

Greenpeace Cool IT Challenge

A new campaign by Greenpeace builds on the experience of the Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics by seeking to engage public pressure - and a little humour - to move IT industry giants towards action on climate change. Greenpeace wants the IT industry movers and shakers to adopt a leadership role in the run-up to Copenhagen. According to the Smart2020 report, although the IT industry is responsible for 2% of global emissions, it has the technology to enable 15% cuts across the industry, buildings, transport and power sectors. And it's this potential that Greenpeace wants to harness with its new Cool IT campaign.

It has a Green CEO league table and a scorecard showing the progress of the twelve chosen organisations towards three key objectives:
  • Providing IT solutions and accurately measuring the impacts these solutions provide for the rest of the economy (in areas such as grid transmission, transport and building efficiency);
  • Lobbying for a strong climate deal in Copenhagen that would stimulate an increase in demand for IT-driven climate solutions by the rest of the economy; and
  • Reducing their own emissions and increasing their use of renewable energy.

Visitors to the site are encouraged to join up, choose 5 CEOs to follow, invite their friends and follow the campaign via Twitter and blogs. Greenpeace says it will update the campaign regularly in the run-up to Copenhagen.

It's an interesting idea, and it's good that Greenpeace are trying to extend their reach into the maintream, but the idea seems a little simplistic and the rating system relies too heavily on what companies say, rather than what they do. there's a danger here that it's the greenwashers that emerge the heroes, and that won't benefit either Greenpeace's credibility or the climate change debate.

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