Greenpeace Features Apple as 'Green Energy Innovator' in New Report
Environmental activist group Greenpeace, which has in the past taken Apple to task over environmental issues, has released a new report entitled "Clicking Clean: How Companies are Building the Green Internet" which classifies Apple along with Google and Facebook as "green energy innovators". The report praises Apple for its commitment to renewable energy, awarding the company three "A" grades and a "B" grade in the group's four rating categories.
Apple's aggressive pursuit of its commitment to power the iCloud with 100% renewable energy has given the company the inside track among the IT sector's leaders in building a green Internet. Apple has made good on its pledge by building the largest privately owned solar farms at its North Carolina data center, working with its utility in Nevada to power its upcoming data center there with solar and geothermal energy, and purchasing wind energy for its Oregon and California data centers. 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.
The full report (PDF) highlights Apple's strong performance in transparency, its commitments to renewable energy and siting of facilities in areas with access to renewable energy, and its deployment of and advocacy for renewable energy. The only area where Greenpeace gives a slight downgrade to Apple is in energy efficiency and mitigation, where the group believes that Apple could do more to share details on its energy efficient facility designs to help the industry in general become more environmentally friendly.
Greenpeace was initially quite sour on Apple's renewable energy plans for its flagship North Carolina data center, believing the company to be relying mostly on coal-powered energy sources. Apple took issue with Greenpeace's claims, but the publicity seemed to have encouraged Apple to become more open about its commitments to renewable energy as it publicly stated its intentions to run all of its data center on 100% renewable energy. While Greenpeace continued to overestimate Apple's energy needs for the North Carolina facility for some time, the group appears to now be satisfied with Apple's disclosures and is on board with the company's energy policies.