Top 10 big tech companies creating a more sustainable world

Leading the way in sustainability initiatives, the world's biggest tech companies are setting ambitious goals and investing in sustainable technologies

Many of the world's largest tech companies are making a conscious effort to reduce their carbon footprint, use renewable energy, and minimise waste. In this article, Technology Magazine highlights the top 10 big tech companies driving sustainability initiatives.

10: Dell Technologies

Dell Technologies has set a goal to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions across scopes 1, 2 and 3 by 2050, and is investing in sustainability research and development to create new technologies that can help reduce waste and conserve resources. In a mission to reduce the 53.4mn tons of e-waste produced every year, by 2030, for every product a customer buys, the company says it will reuse or recycle an equivalent product.

Dell Technologies
  • 1996: Began offering recycling services
  • More than 2.5 billion lbs of used electronics collected for reuse or recycling since 2007

9: HP

HP has set a goal to become carbon neutral by 2040 and to use 100% renewable energy to power its global operations by 2025.

The company is also investing in sustainability research and development to create new technologies that can it reach its target of zero waste across all operations by 2025 and conserve resources.

8: Cisco

Cisco has set a goal to become net zero by 2040 across its value chain by increasing energy efficiency, embracing hybrid work and accelerating the use of renewable energy.

The company is also investing in sustainability research and development to create new technologies that can help reduce waste and conserve resources.

7: Intel

Intel has committed to net zero greenhouse gas emissions in its global operations by 2040, while the company also has goals to use 100% renewable energy and have zero waste to landfill. The company is also investing in sustainability research and development to create new technologies that can help conserve resources and create a more responsible, inclusive, and sustainable world.

Intel's 2030 Sustainability Goals
  • Achieving net positive water
  • Using 100% renewable electricity across global operations
  • Reducing absolute Scope 1 and 2 GHGs by 10% (from 2020 baseline)
  • Sending zero waste to landfill

6: IBM

With an aim to have net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, IBM is creating better pathways to conserve natural resources, reduce pollution, and minimize climate-related risks. 

The company is also investing in sustainability research and development to create new technologies that can help reduce waste and conserve resources, with plans to divert 90% of nonhazardous waste from landfill and incineration by 2025.

5: Meta

Having committed to reaching net zero emissions across its value chain in 2030, Meta is continuing to reduce its Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions in line with climate science by increasing the efficiency of its operations and maintaining 100% renewable energy. 

By 2030, Meta will support projects that remove carbon equivalent to the emissions we are not able to reduce by then. In 2021, the company supported carbon removal projects in Kenya and Mexico that represent more than 200,000 tons of carbon sequestration via forests and soil.

4: Microsoft

Microsoft has set a goal to become carbon negative by 2030, while by 2050 the company says it will have removed its historical emissions since its founding in 1975.

Microsoft's sustainability commitments
  • Carbon negative: By 2030 Microsoft will be carbon negative, reducing CO2 from the atmosphere
  • Water positive: By 2030 the company will replenish more water than it uses
  • Zero waste: By 2030 Microsoft will be zero waste across its direct waste footprint
  • Protect and preserve ecosystems: Microsoft will protect more land than it uses by 2025

The company, which also pledges to be zero waste and water positive by 2030, is also investing in sustainability research and development to create new technologies that can help reduce waste and conserve resources.

3: Amazon

The world’s largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy, Amazon has set ambitious sustainability goals, including reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2040 and using 100% renewable energy by 2025 - five years ahead of the company’s original target of 2030

The company is also investing in sustainable technologies and practices to reduce waste and conserve resources. Since 2015, the company has invested in materials, processes, and technologies that have reduced per-shipment packaging weight by 38 % and eliminated over 1.5 million tons of packaging.

2: Apple

Apple has made sustainability a core part of its business model, with initiatives aimed at reducing its carbon footprint, using renewable energy, and increasing its use of recycled materials in its products. In 2020, the company became carbon neutral for its global corporate operations and by 2030, the company aims to have a net-zero carbon footprint across its entire business.

Since 2008, the company says it has reduced the average energy use of its products by 70%, and in 2021 used twice the amount of recycled tungsten, rare earth elements and cobalt in its products. The company also says it has reduced single-use plastics in its packaging by 75% since 2015 - helped by stopping the use of outer plastic wrapping on its products which began in 2021.

1: Google

With a goal to operate all of its data centres and office campuses on 24/7 carbon-free energy by 2030, Google is heavily investing in sustainability research and development to create new technologies that can help reduce waste and conserve resources from machine learning to help cool its data centres to smart thermostats that conserve home energy.

The company started purchasing renewable energy in 2010, and in 2017 became the first major company to match 100% of its annual electricity use with renewable energy purchases.

Among its many initiatives has been eco-routing, a Google Maps feature launched to help others achieve ‘deep decarbonisation’. The company said last year that the feature has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than 500,000 metric tons: the equivalent of taking approximately 100,000 fuel-based cars off the road.

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