Facebook, Google and Apple are considered leading innovators when it comes to deploying renewable energy to power its data centers and cloud-based technologies, while Amazon and Twitter are “stuck in a dirty energy past.”
That’s the latest finding from Greenpeace’s report: Clicking Clean: How Companies are Building the Green Internet. The report, released today, details how the IT industry has the opportunity to “catalyze transformative change in the consumption and production of energy, with the potential to drive a significant reduction in the greenhouse gases that cause climate change.”
Amazon Web Services and Twitter received failing grades in three of four categories. Here’s what the report said about Amazon:
Unfortunately, AWS has dropped further and further behind its competitors in building an internet that runs on renewable sources of energy, estimated at only 15%, and is the least transparent of any company we evaluated.
And here’s what it said about Twitter:
The microblogging platform has remained silent about the type and amount of electricity that is powering those data centers. Twitter remains at the bottom of the industry for energy transparency, disclosing no information about its energy footprint. Twitter lags behind its competitors in social media, Facebook, which took significant steps to increase transparency and increase its use of clean energy soon after it went public.
Meanwhile, Microsoft received “C” grades across the board.
For those pushing for change, look no further than Apple, the biggest technology company on the planet. Apple received “A” grades in three of four categories, and the authors wrote that the tech titan has the inside track on building a green Internet by committing to using solar and geothermal energy to power a Nevada data center and purchasing wind energy to power facilities in Oregon and California.
“Apple’s commitment to renewable energy has helped set a new bar for the industry, illustrating in very concrete terms that a 100% renewable internet is within its reach, and providing several models of intervention for other companies that want to build a sustainable Internet.”
Here’s a look at the full scorecard:
UPDATE: Amazon.com released this statement about the Greenpeace report.
“We agree with Greenpeace that technology leaders should help safeguard the environment by implementing both efficient use and clean sources of energy. However Greenpeace’s report, “Clicking Green,” misses the mark by using false assumptions on AWS operations and inaccurate data on AWS energy consumption. We provided this feedback to Greenpeace prior to publishing their report.
We work hard on our own, and together with our power providers all over the world, to offer AWS Cloud services in an environmentally friendly way in all of our Regions. AWS operates efficient and highly utilized datacenters across 10 different Regions globally, two of which (Oregon and GovCloud Regions) use 100% carbon-free power. We like offering customers the choice of being able to run carbon-free, and we love doing it without charging a premium over other North American regions.
Running IT infrastructure on the AWS Cloud is inherently more energy efficient than traditional computing that depends on small, inefficient, and over-provisioned datacenters. With AWS, customers can reduce their overall consumption of IT resources while also improving utilization. Collectively, AWS customers are the driving force in this effort by eliminating hundreds of thousands of individual datacenters worldwide, along with the associated wasted capacity and overprovisioned energy.”