Intel Leads Green Power Ranking Again; Google Not So Much

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.


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  • velocityg4
    I don't really see how biogas makes the list. Biogas is far from green. Coal is probably more green.

    Massive amounts of land have to be used (habitat destroyed) to produce the stuff compared to crude oil. Large amounts of fuel get used to fertilize, till, maintain, harvest and process the plants into fuel. I've seen estimates that range from eight gallons of gasoline are needed to produce nine gallons of ethanol to it taking many times more gas get used in producing ethanol than is reaped. Then there is the fresh water usage. We simply do not have enough to sustain production. Already we are using groundwater faster than it is being replenished.

    Once all is said and done you are still pumping CO2 gases into the atmosphere. Except now it is a crap load more as you have all the gas used in production then the ethanol consumed by the end user.
  • JamesSneed
    I think Biogas makes the list because its renewable. I'm with you its not "green" well except maybe in color. To me Biogas makes since for farmers and farm equipment since they could use a portion of their crops to make their own fuel. If you are going to expend the energy to harvest the crops for food anyhow it could have some saving to take a portion of the crop and turn it into Biogas . Besides that use case I just don't understand why its even an option.
  • rosen380
    For biogas-- lets say you are making it from corn, are they using the actual corn that we eat, or can it be made from the husks, stalks and cob that we don't?