Greenpeace gives Apple a tick for data centre efforts

Karen Haslam
15 July, 2012
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Apple’s standing in the eyes of  Greenpeace has gone up a few notches.

In a report released by the environmental group, Greenpeace (via Wired) noted that is it pleased that Apple is moving its data centres to renewable power sources. The organisation said that it was re-scoring Apple because of its “recent ambitions and public commitments to clean energy”.

The report focuses on Apple’s plans for powering iCloud, and notes that Apple intends to “significantly increase” the amount of clean energy powering its data centres, including doubling the amount of sola power attached to its North Carolina facility, and plans to make all three of Apple’s current data centres “coal free” by 2013.

Greenpeace welcomes the news that Apple plans to be “coal free”, although it does note that there are “many details and questions” that remain regarding how Apple will achieve its 100 percent renewable goal.

The report notes that two of the three data centres operate in regions that are 50-60 percent coal powered, so “significant new investment” will be required.

These changes are “not likely to occur overnight”, notes the report.

Greenpeace writes: “Ultimately, if Apple wants to get serious about its commitment to a coal-free iCloud, the most important thing it can do is use its buying leverage with Duke Energy and other utilities to push for cleaner electricity options.”

The report updates Apple’s score given in the ‘How Clean is your Cloud’ report released in April. Apple is the only company to have it’s grading reassessed since the report.

At the time, Apple contested the claims from Greenpeace that its North Carolina data centre will be mostly coal powered. Greenpeace says it will revaluate Microsoft and Amazon next.

Back in April Apple scored F for Energy Transparency (it now scores D); F for Infrastructure Siting (now it scores D); D for Energy Efficiency (now C); and D for Renewable & Advocacy (now C).

Microsoft currently scores D, D,C, D. Amazon scores F, F, D, D. Twitter gets F, D, F, D. One of the best performers is Google with B, C, B, A.

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