BY LINDSEY WOLF
ANCHOR JIM FLINK
You're watching multisource tech news analysis from Newsy.
In honor of Earth Day, Greenpeace released a study alleging the world’s largest tech companies really aren’t that green. San Francisco’s KGO explains.
“The environmental organization criticizes several companies including Apple, Facebook and Twitter for the enormous amounts of energy they use and calls them to commit to using clean renewable energy sources.”
And the dirtiest of them all according to green activists? Apple.
CNN: “Apple's data-storage practices earned the lowest ‘Clean Energy Index’ score. The score considers the percentage of these data centers' electricity generated by ‘clean’ energy such as solar or wind power versus ‘dirtier’ energy sources, such as coal and nuclear power.”
The main culprit appears to be the company’s 500,000 square-foot data center in North Carolina which Greenpeace says, only uses 5 percent clean energy. The facility consumes as much energy as 80,000 homes in the U.S. or a quarter of a million homes in Europe. Greenpeace says Apple is thinking economically -- not ecologically.
"Apple's decision to locate its iDataCenter in North Carolina … indicates a lack of a corporate commitment to clean energy supply for its cloud operations … [I]n addition to tax incentives, access to inexpensive energy, regardless of its source, is a key driver in Apple's site selection."
To the contrary, on its website, Apple highlights how small their carbon footprint is.
“Apple is committed to ensuring that working conditions in our supply chain are safe … and manufacturing processes are environmentally responsible.”
But a blogger for ZDNet argues - should the environment be the first thing on these tech giants’ minds? Or should they focus on - well - technology?
“I do believe the cloud computing could be more inherently green than the current model, but I agree that energy efficiency shouldn’t be the only focus. These companies have the might to make a difference.”
So, who is this cleanest? Greenies say -- Yahoo! -- with a 56% clean energy index. Sure, the search engine is eco-friendly, but it’s not doing too hot from a business standpoint.
“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.”
Another fun fact from the report: if cloud computing were a country, Greenpeace says, it would be the fifth-largest energy consumer in the world - behind Japan and before India.
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