The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released its list of top 50 green power purchasers, and Mountain View, Calif.-based Google and Santa Ana, Calif.-based Ingram, a maker of information technology products, edged their way onto the charts.
The companies join others like Walmart and Intel that have embraced sustainability and are setting an example to others of balancing saving money with environmental stewardship.
"By making the switch to renewable power, these forward thinking companies are reducing greenhouse gasses and other harmful air pollution so that Americans can breathe easier.” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest, in a statement.
No. 1 on the list is Intel Corp. with 2.5 billion kilowatt hours of green energy purchased amounting to 88 percent of its consumption. The rest of the top five include No. 2 Kohl's Department Stores with 1.4 billion kWh and 100 percent of its consumption, No. 3 Whole Foods Market with 752 million kWh and 100 percent, No. 4 City of Houston with 438 million kWh and 34 percent and No. 5 Starbucks with 422 million kWh and 52 percent.
PepsiCo left the top five this year, dropping off the list entirely.
EPA officials say the top 50 purchasers use more than 14 billion kWh of green power annually, "equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity use of more than 1.2 million average American homes." Green power is generated from renewable resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, and low-impact hydropower.
EPA says Google purchases green power from NextEra Energy Resources, Renewable Choice Energy and Puget Sound Energy and has helped create the largest residential solar fund in the country. It also has invested in the world's largest wind farm, the Alta Wind Energy Center near Tehachapi, Calif., and the Ivanpah Power Tower solar project in California’s Mojave Desert.
Ingram Micro's purchases of more than 3 million kWh of green power annually puts it low on the volume list, but it's enough green power to meet 107 percent of the company's electricity use.