A new report released by Innovest Strategic Value Advisors, New York, shows that the top environmental performers in the computer sector have outperformed their industry rivals financially by 25% since the beginning of 1998. The report, The Computer Industry -- Hidden Risks and Value Potential for Strategic Investors, calls into question the view of the environment as a cost center and presents evidence linking superior environmental performance with competitiveness and profitability. Citing Dell Computer Corp. as one example, the report says the company's energy-efficiency initiatives already have generated cost savings of 37%. In addition to Dell, other computer companies leading the way in environmental performance include IBM and Compaq. Lagging behind are Gateway, Data General, and Silicon Graphics. The report concludes that investor returns can be substantially improved by investing in companies with superior eco-efficiency. "As confirmed by numerous studies, environmental management is a powerful leading indicator for overall management quality, a key predictor of an organization's long-term financial strength," says Frank Dixon, a managing director at Innovest.