In this article, we will cover the world’s top three green tech companies. However, some green tech companies like Autodesk produce mainly digital products. They can still impact as large as a hardware-producing green technology company like Apple.
Companies with digital products can significantly draw on energy supplies due to the amount of office space & equipment they require. Join us as we explore today’s top 3 green tech companies.
You may be surprised to see mainly big names in this list due to these top-tier businesses’ immense financial leverage. Thanks to consumer opinion becoming more eco-conscious, the tech giants’ direction has been toward green technology.
You may not recognise the name at first. Still, Autodesk is responsible for software that has helped the architecture, engineering, construction, manufacturing, media, education, and entertainment industries. Autodesks most reverd product is Autocad, which various disciplines use worldwide.
Autodesk also develops software like 3DS Max, and Maya used extensively in games development and 3D modelling. So we know Autodesk makes outstanding products, but are they green tech companies? We will find out in the next section about the top 3 green tech companies.
What makes Autodesk a sustainable company?
Autodesk has become the backbone of innovation, as a result it is allowing people to design new and innovative ideas using their design products easily. This is not the only way Autodesk helps innovate green technology, as a matter of fact, companies with leverage Autodesk actively seeks out and supports innovators in green technology.
The Autodesk Foundation
The Autodesk Foundation is an initiative to support innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing social and environmental challenges. The foundation seeks out start-ups and nonprofits to invest in, allowing companies in areas like green tech to flourish. This helps drive innovation & development in the Autodesk Foundations’ target areas.
- Energy & Materials – Avoiding, reducing, and removing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to accelerate the transition to a decarbonised economy.
- Health & Resilience – Improving resilience in low-resource communities with climate adaptation technologies.
- Work & Prosperity – Preparing workers to thrive in the era of automation through equity-driven, human-centred solutions.
Where are Autodesk products made?
Autodesk has offices worldwide, with its head office in San Francisco, California, USA. There is also a string of offices spread across the US and beyond, with offices from Texas to Quebec in Canada.
Is Autodesk’s office carbon neutral?
Autodesk is conscious of its effect on the environment and the high use of energy offices demand. Additionally, they respect the importance of the company’s social impact too & offer a great environment to work in, with 84% of employees recommending employment there.
Autodesk has three main commitments when it comes to renewable energy:
- 100% Renewable energy – they use renewable energy to power their cloud services & offices.
- They meet their greenhouse targets – Autodesk works to reduce any emissions and meet their greenhouse targets.
- Sustainable development – Sustainable design is part of Autodesk’s services & products
See Autodesk’s sustainability report here.
What does Autodesk sell?
Autodesk is a company that specialises in software products and services for the architecture, engineering, construction, manufacturing, media, education, and entertainment industries. If you have ever worked in design, you have likely used an Autodesk product. Some products produced by Autodesk are:
- 3DS Max
What I like about Autodesk
- Out of all the big tech companies I studied for this article on green tech, Autodesk comes across as a company with genuine eco values. This is refreshing; most prominent tech companies’ eco strategy is all marketing with little action.
- Autodesk does not produce products in countries that ignore climate issues and have little or no human rights.
- They meet their targets in emissions and renewable energy use.
What I dislike about Autodesk
It is hard to find an area where Autodesk has not performed well. If you have any experience of negative impacts caused by Autodesk, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Over half the population of the UK owns an iPhone, so it is good to know that Apple is working hard to become a green technology company. Currently, only 12.5% of E-waste is recycled, so leading technology companies like Apple must move to become more sustainable.
Some of Apple’s range includes the iPhone, iPad, Apple Mac & MacBook computers, to name a few; if they are not recycled, these products join many others in the landfill. Or worse, they end up in incinerators where they are burned, which releases dangerous chemicals into the atmosphere.
What makes Apple a sustainable company?
It would be a lie to say that Apple started with a vision to be a green tech company; the fact is that the market is driving this change. Apple has
- Committed to being carbon neutral by 2030 – Apple are committed to creating products with clean energy & keep innovating ways to recycle their devices.
- Apple Trade-in Policy – One of the ways you can help reduce waste is with Apple’s trade-in policy.
- Moving to recycled materials – Apple is constantly pushing to use more in their products; last year, 20% of all materials in shipped products came from recycled sources.
Where are Apple products made?
Apple products are made in different countries and by different companies therefore the components are sourced from Germany, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan & India, whilst they are manufactured in South Korea, the Czech Republic, Thailand, Malaysia, and China, to name a few.
The fact that these countries are not synonymous with human rights or ecological practices , hence this does leave a question mark over Apple’s sincerity in becoming a green tech company.
What I like about Apple
Apple is making strides to become a more green and eco-friendly technology company in due time, here are three things they are doing that I like:
- They are working towards a carbon-neutral business model and pushing to recycle more and more of their devices.
- Low-carbon shipping is nearly a part of Apple’s delivery process, shipping contributes a significant amount to their carbon footprint.
- To help offset the carbon emissions they cannot reduce, Apple is investing in forests, wetlands and grasslands to help remove emissions from the atmosphere.
What I dislike about Apple
- Apple sources many of its products from Foxconn and Pegatron, which have a questionable reputation regarding human rights, let alone environmental. One factory spreads out over 2 square miles and needs around 350,000 employees.
- Apple is responding to a change in the market; it did not start as a grassroots green tech company.
- Whilst pushing some amazing eco-initiatives, Apple is still obsoleting products through software updates.
Never one to be outdone by its main rival, Microsoft has gone one step further than Apple and has committed to becoming Carbon Negative by 2030 & that’s just one initiative by the technology giant. Like Apple, Microsoft has leverage thanks to its enormous wealth.
Microsoft is also responsible for ensuring that the devices it creates are recyclable and do not end up in landfill sites or incinerators.
What makes Microsoft a sustainable company?
Although Microsoft also did not start as a grassroots green technology company, it is also making significant efforts to help curb the damage done to the environment through e-waste. Microsoft has made four commitments to becoming a more sustainable company.
- Carbon negative – Microsoft will be carbon negative by 2030 & by 2050, it will have removed its historical emissions since its founding in 1975.
- Water positive – By 2030, Microsoft will replenish more water than it uses.
- Zero waste – 2030 will be the year Microsoft are zero waste across their direct waste footprint.
- Protect and preserve ecosystems – As early as 2025, Microsoft will protect more land than it uses.
Where are Microsoft products made?
Microsoft does not disclose who makes its products and where they source their materials subsequently thousands of companies work with Microsoft on producing its devices. Foxconn or Pegatron likely make the components Microsoft use, which needs better ecological practices.
What I like about Microsoft
Microsoft has some fantastic green tech initiatives, making them a top contender for the most green technology company. Three things I particularly like are:
- Committed to green tech – Microsoft goes above and beyond with their climate commitments compared to other companies. One example is their effort to remove their historical emissions by 2050!
- Active water replenishment – Water is an undervalued resource, water supplies are not endless, and more companies need to be active in reducing water use, like Microsoft, which has pledged to be water vivacious by 2030.
- Investment – Microsofts climate innovation fund has pledged a $1 billion investment over four years to help develop green technology & help towards current climate solutions.
What I dislike about Microsoft
While I like Microsoft as a company and feel it’s going in the right direction, some things make me question its green tech integrity.
- Carbon emissions increase – With lots of talk on Microsoft’s website about becoming carbon negative, it’s hard to swallow the news that Microsoft’s CO2 emissions have risen by over 20% since 2020.
- Production – The fact that Microsoft needs to be more transparent on sourcing materials and productions is questionable.
- Corporate – Microsoft has lots of good things going on. However, it is still a big business and has a long way to go before it is a renewed green tech company.
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Sources: Image by kjpargeter on Freepik