HP Ranked #1 Green Company (What!?)

Newsweek's latest Green Rankings gave Hewlett Packard the top position, establishing the firm as the greenest Fortune 500 company this year — a far cry from Greenpeace's #14 ranking. So what gives?

The ranking methodology utilised by Greenpeace and Newsweek are radically different; the Newsweek rankings are based on a holistic view of the companies including greenhouse emissions, water consumption and supply chain management. Greenpeace, however, analyses more focused benchmarks like the use of toxic chemicals.

Greenpeace's biggest knock on HP is its continued polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and brominated flame retardant (BFR) usage despite a commitment to discontinue their utilisation, and while Newsweek recognises their continued use, they give HP credit due to progressively diminished usage.

HP got especially high marks for its Green Policy and Performance from Newsweek, issues Greenpeace did not consider. While Newsweek's ranking system is more comprehensive, there is good reason Greenpeace looks specifically at PVC and BFRs. Dioxin, an organic compound produced as a byproduct of PVC production, has been implicated in a broad range of health problems from acne to sarcoma.

Both rankings have valid rationales to justify their methodologies, HP most likely belongs somewhere in between #1 and #14. [Newsweek and Greenpeace]

Thanks Prof. Singaram for helping me work through organic chemistry.