Green Power. Who's Buying and Where is it Headed?

03/28/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Jonathan A. Schein Highly regarded as a media and business executive. Noted for his thought leadership ability to quickly take advantage of new technologies and apply them to markets and the underlying structures of business, governmental and social trends.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released its quarterly rankings of the nation's top green power purchasers, with Intel Corporation leading the way for the third year, followed by Kohl's Department Stores and PepsiCo. The rest of the top ten, in order, are Whole Foods Market, the City of Houston, Dell Inc., The Pepsi Bottling Group Inc., Cisco Systems Inc., the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and Johnson & Johnson. These entities, along with twelve hundred others, are part of the Green Power Partnership, "a voluntary program that supports the organizational procurement of green power by offering expert advice, technical support, tools and resources." Green Power is defined as energy produced by renewable sources such as solar, bio-diesel, wind, geothermal, and biomass.

It's interesting to see how the top ten fall along industry lines. Three fall into information technology category, two fall into retail, two in government, two in food & beverage, and one in health care. The list reflects the dominance of the technology and consumer business sectors, as well as the growing economic role of government, a trend which, if it continues, will likely impact the Green Power Purchasers list in the future. In other words, in ten years, this list will most likely be inverted with retail, health care and governmental agencies at the top of the rankings.

This isn't about competition and who can be the biggest purchaser of renewable energy sources, rather a possible outcome of what could be the largest economic drivers in our economy. There is a very good chance that retail, governmental agencies and health care end up taking up the largest percentage of our economy. And if this is the case, we'll have much bigger problems than where they buy their power.

Jonathan A. Schein is the president and CEO of ScheinMedia, publisher of