Many IT brands at the vanguard of this 21st century technological shift are perpetuating our addiction to dirty energy technologies of the last two centuries. We analysed the data centre investments of 10 top global cloud companies and our findings show a trend across the industry towards extolling the external effects of IT products and services, while failing to take seriously the need to power this widespread aggregation of the world's information with clean, renewable electricity.
So how did the companies do? As a whole, very badly. Apple was the worst of the bunch, by far, with a dismal 6.7% Clean Energy Index (the worst of all 10 companies), a 54.5% Coal Intensity Index (again, the worst of all 10 companies), an F for environmental Asus a42-v6 battery awareness when it comes to instructure siting, and Cs for its transparency and its environmental mitigation strategy.
Google did much better than Apple, with a 36.4% Clean Energy Index (second best), a 34.7% Coal Intensity Index (around the middle of the pack), and an F for transparency, a C for infrastructure siting, and a B for mitigation strategy.
Microsoft also easily bested Apple, with a 25% Clean Energy Index (reasonably well, compared to others), a 34.1% Coal Intensity Index (around the middle of the pack), a B for mitigation strategy, and Cs for transparency and infrastructure siting.
Facebook, meanwhile, has a 13.8% Clean Energy Index (the lower middle) a 53.2% Coal Intensity Index (second worse, to Apple), Ds for transparency and mitigation strategy, and an F for infrastructure siting.
The best of all was Yahoo, with a 55.9% Clean Energy Index, an 18.3% Coal Intensity Index, a D for transparency, a B for infrastructure siting, and a C for mitigation strategy.
Greenpeace also said that Google and Yahoo are both paying increasing Dell inspiron 1520 battery attention to clean energy. A press release that accompanied the report noted:
Yahoo! and Google seem to understand the importance of a renewable energy supply. Yahoo! has sited near sources of renewable energy, and Google is directly purchasing clean power. Their models should be employed and improved upon by other cloud companies.
From a purely business perspective, none of this matters, of course. Yahoo, for example, may be among the greenest of cloud providers, but the company itself has been tanking.
But there's more to business than pure profits. Companies have societal responsibilities as well. It's clear from the Greenpeace report that the top cloud providers are falling short, even though Google and Yahoo are making serious attempts to laptop batteries clean up. Apple, by way of contrast, often touts its greenness, but fails miserably when it comes to environment and the cloud.