Dell, HP, IBM Are the Greenest Companies

These days running a good business is more than just about profits and putting out a product that sells; businesses also need to be mindful of their environmental impact. Newsweek has ranked the top 500 publicly traded companies in the U.S. and tech companies dominate the top spots.

Out of the top 10, eight of them are technology companies, perhaps showing that the tech sector either cares most about the environment, or is able to retool quickly to respond to environmental factors better than any other industry.

The greenest company, according to Newsweek, is Dell. Following closely at second and third by Hewlett-Packard and IBM.

Intel comes it at number five, followed by Sprint Nextel, Adobe Systems, Applied Materials and Yahoo! AMD and Cisco were in the top 20 at twelfth and thirteenth, respectively.

Some industry onlookers are surprised that Apple didn't place higher, given its recent efforts in using recyclable materials, but Newsweek put it at 65th spot.

Microsoft placed 29th, Google made 36th and Motorola was 43rd.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • lukeiamyourfather
    Is anyone else a surprised that Dell is ranked first?
  • deweycd
    A company that tells you to replace your printer to get new ink instead of refilling/replacing the ink cartrage is the greenest? How can that be?
  • Well, since Dell is selling less and less computer, they ARE reducing the carbon footprint.
  • Nesto1000
    Steve Jobs rebuttal:
    You're recycling wrong!
  • robwright
    Dell was actually well ahead of the curve. The company made its fortune on supply chain optimization -- rather than design or innovation -- which enabled it to sell PCs direct to customer for less than, say, HP or Gateway back in the day. Dell essentially figured out that using cheaper, recycled material for packaging could reduce costs even further. So it wasn't a matter of Michael Dell declaring he wanted to save the environment -- far from it. It was more a matter of the company figuring out ways to make and ship its products cheaper through "green" methods.
  • cookoy
    Ranking 500 companies objectively would take a lot of money and resources. Did Newsweek visit each office/plant sites to assess each one? What criteria did they used to rank? Over what period? Or let's just their word for it.
  • Parsian
    i dont believe this report until i see their procedure. How can a software company scores less than a company that sells hardware?
  • tarku
    I can see why apple isn't at the top. They use way too much packaging for their products. Apple tends to package everything in their own box, so 1 iPod/iPad per box, which I have never seen a company produce so much cardboard.
  • kelemvor4
    I think there's a third reason tech companies are near the top. Most of them sell "green" products because it's a big selling point to consumers, and simultaneously most tech companies eat their own dog food to cut costs - inherently making them greener as the products get greener. It's a nice convenient circle.
  • aevm
    According to wikipedia, General Electric made 12.4% of the wind turbines sold in the world in 2009 (beaten only by a Danish company with 12.5%). It's definitely a public traded company and one of the top 500 by market cap (LOL, it was #1 a few years ago and it's worth 6 times more than Dell today). Doesn't that make it "green" enough for Newsweek???

    What about companies that make solar cells or electric vehicles?