Greenpeace Praises Apple, Blasts Amazon in Latest Green Data Center Report

Greenpeace recently released its annual “Clicking Clean” report that scores Internet and tech companies on their energy choices and commitment to green energy — and Apple received a perfect score of 100 for the second year in a row.

According to a May 12 Apple Insider article, Apple received A’s all across the board; earning top scores in energy transparency, renewable energy commitment and siting policy, energy efficiency and mitigation and renewable energy deployment and advocacy.

Yahoo came in a distant second place with a score of 73; no other tech company scored above 50. Microsoft earned a 39, and Google came in at 46.

Apple particularly impressed Greenpeace with its decision to build its own renewable energy facilities to power its new data centers when faced with resistance from utility operators. The maker of the iPhone and iPad, committed to reaching a 100% renewable energy goal, has constructed numerous solar farms near its data centers and invested in hydroelectricity and fuel cell installations.

Early in 2015, Apple announced it has reached this 100% renewable energy goal in all its U.S. operations, and that 87% of its international operations have achieved this goal.

The computer server and data center industry, a $14 billion industry, has long been the target of ire from environmentalists for its massive, almost obscene levels of energy consumption. Much of this energy comes from fossil fuels like natural gas and coal.

While Greenpeace took extensive steps to hail Apple’s progress, it criticized Amazon’s data center energy use in its report. Amazon earned a score of 23 on Greenpeace’s Clean Energy Index, primarily due to the company’s lack of transparency in its energy reporting, GeekWire reports.

“Amazon’s adoption of a 100% renewable energy goal, while potentially significant, lacks basic transparency and, unlike similar commitments from Apple, Facebook or Google, does not yet appear to be guiding Amazon’s investment decisions toward renewable energy and away from coal,” the report said.

Given Greenpeace’s evaluation of the tech world, it’s clear many companies have a long way to go to implement renewable energy in their data centers.


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