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In Clean Energy A is for Apple and Google, Not Amazon: Greenpeace

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Apple has earned an A for renewable energy in its data centers, with Google and Facebook among other data center operators making progress, according to a Greenpeace report released Wednesday. At the other end of the spectrum, Amazon is singled out for the lack of clean energy in its data centers.

While Apple scored a 100 percent for its renewable energy and As for transparency, energy policy and deployment in the report, Greenpeace acknowledged that Google, with 13 data centers as opposed to Apple’s 4, has a much more difficult challenge in securing “green” power supplies.

Google scored 48 for renewable energy with Bs and an A in the other catagories.

A number of other internet and hosting companies are lauded for their efforts in the report, including Box, Rackspace, and Salesforce.com, who all along with Apple, Google, and Facebook have committed to powering their data centers entirely with renewable electricity. According to Greenpeace, nearly all of the companies examined have made strides in the right direction.

Greenpeace reported on data center energy sources two years ago, and drew on that report to identify progress, or its lack.

Amazon is targeted as being among those who “have refused to pay even lip service to sustainability and are simply buying dirty energy straight from the grid,” according to the report. “Those companies, most notably Amazon Web Services, are choosing how to power their infrastructure based solely on lowest electricity prices.”

According to Reuters, Amazon disputes the veracity of Greenpeace’s assessment.

Data centers account for 2 percent of all energy consumption in the US, according to GigaOm.

The price of electricity provides hosts with a natural incentive to be energy efficient, and innovations like the self-powered racks Microsoft announced in November hold costs down while helping public relations.

The report, titled “Clicking Clean: How Companies are Creating the Green Internet” examined 19 companies, which combine to operate over 300 data centers. It does not include smaller “green” hosts like A Small Orange.

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