Newsweek's Top "Green" Companies Anything but Green

Calling IBM, HP, Apple and Dell "Green" companies is a huge stretch of the imagination. Newsweek (now part of the Daily Beast) absolutely misunderstands what a green company is.

If you look at the definition of green jobs by the US Bureau of Labor & Statistics, the Newsweek companies qualify in category "B" (Jobs in which workers' duties involve making their establishment's production processes more environmentally friendly or use fewer natural resources).

Yes, the Newsweek companies have green jobs, but how many? Their number is so tiny compared to the total number of their employees that it's just a joke to call these companies green.

But, please, don't get me wrong, I applaud the effort of these companies to reduce their carbon footprint and negative effect on the environment, and I think every company in the world should be doing that.

Newsweek probably gets much more attention talking about IBM, HP, Nokia, Dell and Google than talking about largely unknown true green companies. Who's heard of Vestas, First Solar, SunEdison or Locus Technologies? And, unfortunately, the only green company everybody has heard about is the failed Solyndra.

True "Green" companies employ more than 50% of their employees, or get more than 50% of their revenues in activities that produce goods or provide services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources. So examples of what I call "true" green companies include renewable energy producers, and manufacturers of renewable energy equipment (e.g. solar panels and wind turbines), battery technology companies, all-electric vehicle manufacturers.

The Green Job Bank has a database of about 600 green companies in many categories (not only renewable energy, but green building and clean transportation among many others), so you can peruse the list and see the difference for yourself.

You can also see the list of our top employers with the most green jobs.

See also our own definition of a green job.