The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has updated its Green Power Partnership ranking of the 50 organizations that buy the most green power.
The three constants in this listing are the fact that (1) Intel is leading the list once again, (2) Whole Foods remains the only organization that covers all of its energy usage with green power since the initiation of the ranking and (3) organizations continue to purchase more green power at a fast pace overall.
Intel is inching closer toward the goal of covering 100 percent of its corporate power use and buys nearly twice the green power than the next biggest purchaser Kohl's - 2.80 billion kWh versus 1.53 billion kWh per year. However, Kohl's buys 101 percent of its power needs from green sources (such as biogas, biomass, solar and wind) and Intel only 89 percent. Microsoft has broken into the list as an apparently new member of the Green Power Partnership and lists at #3 with 1.12 billion kWh and 46 percent coverage.
The top 5 is completed by Wal-Mart (872 million kWh, 28 percent) and Whole Foods (28 percent). Surprising members on the list - on a positive note - may be McDonald's (#13, 306 million kWh, 30 percent), and Best Buy (#40, 118 million kWh, 11 percent). Also somewhat surprising may be the fact that Google is not quite as green as the perception may indicate. All those solar panels on Google's roof and wind turbines hardly shows any impact: Google acquires only 103 million kWh per year - which is about 5 percent of its total consumption. Also noteworthy is that an long time leader of the earlier versions of the list, the U.S. Air Force, is slipping. The Air Force buys 262 million kWh per year, which is not only below the 2004 mark of 1.04 billion kWh, but its coverage has also dropped from 11 percent to just 3 percent.
However, the larger picture shows that purchases of 54 million kWh were enough to rank #25 on the list in 2004, while 176 million kWh in 2012 - based on the numbers in published list, which adds and drops a few members in every new release.