Yesterday (May 12) Greenpeace released an update to its report on the greenest tech companies. The list was led by companies including Apple, Facebook and Google. The report, “Clicking Clean: A Guide to Building the Green Internet,” celebrated the companies for their efforts to “green” the Internet. Meanwhile it found that other Internet companies like Amazon need to do more as do coal-dependent utilities that support their energy needs like Dominion Power and Duke Energy.
“Tech companies are increasingly turning to the smart choice of renewable energy to power the internet, but they're hitting a wall of stubborn monopoly power companies that refuse to switch to 21st century sources of energy,” said Gary Cook, senior IT Analyst for Greenpeace USA. “This past year saw Amazon, Microsoft, Netflix and other internet companies work together with activists to successfully overcome the monopolies of AT&T and Comcast, who wanted to create an internet `slow lane.’ Internet companies need to work together again to push utilities and policymakers to provide them with 100 percent renewable energy, and avoid the creation of an Internet ‘dirty lane.’”
Apple, which now sources 100 percent of its energy from renewable resources, led the pack, receiving four “A”s from the report. “Apple has made good on its pledge by building the largest privately owned solar farms at its North Carolina data center, working with its utility in Nevada to power its upcoming data center there with solar and geothermal energy, and purchasing wind energy for its Oregon and California data centers,” according to the report.
“Apple’s commitment to renewable energy has helped set a new bar for the industry, illustrating in very concrete terms that a 100 percent renewable Internet is within its reach, and providing several models of intervention for other companies that want to build a sustainable Internet,” the report said. Apple company has made great strides in the past three years to go from being behind the pack to leading it, making significant strides even from last year. Late last month the company even announced plans to green its energy supply in China and to encourage its suppliers to do the same.
Facebook followed with three “A”s and a “B”. “Facebook has made huge strides forward since 2012 to become one of the clear green Internet leaders,” the report stated. However it still relies on some energy sources including nuclear, natural gas and coal. Bur the report noted that the company is pushing for more clean energy. Google was praised for its renewable energy deployment but ultimately received three “B”s and one “A”. However the reported observed that it still needs to do more in some markets to green its data centers in places where renewable energy is restricted by monopoly utilities.
Amazon Web Services got two “D”s an “F” and a “C” on the report. “Amazon needs to provide more information about its data center footprint and how it will move toward 100 percent,” Cook said. The report found that though the company is making some strides toward more renewable energy and transparency it still relies heavily on non-renewable energy sources like coal and nuclear.Tweet