For the third year in a row, Computerworld set out to identify organisations that are implementing smart, efficient strategies to achieve "green IT." This year, Computerworld teamed up with sister publication Network World to identify the top organisations leading the way with green-IT efforts, as well as the coolest green-IT products in use.

Organisations were invited to complete a comprehensive questionnaire online from May to July. The survey was sent out to the IT community through a variety of channels, including e-mail newsletters, and email broadcasts. Ninety-five organizations participated.

Computerworld then contacted representatives at the participating organisations to verify that the information provided on the surveys was truthful and accurate. Only those organisations that filed verification letters were considered.

Computerworld then applied a set of criteria, developed with the help of green-IT industry experts, to identify the organizations that are working to reduce energy consumption by IT equipment and using technology to conserve energy and lower their carbon emissions. A separate list was created to showcase IT vendors and data centre suppliers. Included in this category are hardware, software, networking, IT infrastructure and data centre vendors.

Based on the weighting scheme developed, the top 12 Green-IT Users and top 12 Green-IT Vendors lists were chosen. Respondents were also asked to identify the most useful and effective green-IT products they are using now, including the benefits of the product in terms of cost-savings and/or environmental impact, as well as the types of green-IT products they are researching, planning to purchase or piloting. From this list, Network World explored the most frequently cited products and tools.

What follows is the survey and scoring system that Computerworld used to select the "greenest" companies from among the nominees.

Part 1: Checklist

Please indicate your agreement or disagreement with the following statements. (Note: Respondents received 1 point for each positive response below unless otherwise noted.)

Top Level

  • Top executives (eg, the CEO) have made an explicit, vigorous commitment to energy efficiency.
  • The organisation has set and published goals for energy efficiency, energy savings and/or carbon emissions reduction.
  • The organization has a green-IT expert or experts on staff (either within or outside the IT department) dedicated to developing and monitoring green-IT practices for the organisation as a whole.
  • The organisation has a program to encourage or require employees to save energy (e.g., turn off unused monitors).
  • The organisation explicitly encourages employees to suggest, identify and spread practices that save energy.
  • Purchasing practices favour energy-efficient products. (5 points)
  • Purchasing practices favour recycled products. (5 points)
  • Selection of external service providers favours those with commitments to energy conservation and carbon reduction. (4 points)
  • The organisation is a member of a "green" consortium or group dedicated to energy conservation.