Bad news for environmentally conscious people who want an iPhone: Apple is near the bottom of a new list that rates companies based on their efforts to stop climate change.
While it doesn't have quite the cache, Motorola Inc. would make a better choice of cell phone, if you care about efforts the vendor is making to improve its carbon footprint, according to the Climate Counts list.
Motorola got a score of 60, compared to Apple's 2, meaning it has set goals to reduce its energy use and has already succeeded in doing so. The highest score a company can get is 100.
Climate Counts, a new nonprofit organization, plans to update the list every year and encourages consumers to base their buying decisions on companies' climate change efforts.
The list currently includes 56 companies in a range of industries and scores them based on four criteria: how well the company has measured its climate footprint, reduced its impact on global warming, supports positive climate change legislation and publicly discloses their climate change actions.
Despite recent green initiatives, including building the largest solar installation on any corporate campus in the U.S., Google got a score of 17. Google got poor marks in part for failing to do a good job tracking corporate emissions or reporting on efforts to improve. At the recent launch of an initiative to improve energy efficiency in computer power supplies, a Google executive said that he knew Google's carbon footprint but he declined to share it.
Other tech companies that scored poorly include Amazon.com, which got a score of zero, and eBay, which matches Apple with a 2. Yahoo got a 36 and Microsoft a 31.
Shoppers can either visit the Climate Counts Web site to check up on companies or they can ask for information about companies via short message from their mobile phones. Consumers can text the message "cc" followed by the company name to 30644 and receive the company's score by return text message.
Climate Counts is funded by Stonyfield Farm, a yogurt company, and is a collaboration with Clean Air-Cool Planet, a nonprofit that promotes ways to slow global warming. GreenOrder, a company that advises businesses on sustainability and corporate responsibility issues, verified the scoring results for accuracy.
Requests for comment to Apple, Amazon.com and Google about their scores were not immediately returned.