Environmental watchdog agency Greenpeace is looking at the ecological performance of the world’s leading Internet companies once again, and this latest report finds that Apple, Facebook and Google are doing the most to lead the charge towards a sustainably powered Internet, while Amazon, and specifically AWS, is dragging everybody down.
AWS is one of the world’s leading distributed hosting providers, but it doesn’t reveal any details about its energy footprint to either its customers or the public in general, which is what has it running afoul of Greenpeace’s rankings. In addition to being the least transparent company on the report, it uses only 15 percent clean energy sources according the organization’s own investigations, and Greenpeace says it continues to slide relative to its competitors on energy performance.
The top performers get much more of their energy from clean sources, rather than bad ones like coal and nuclear that earn Greenpeace’s censure. Apple uses 100 percent clean energy sources, according to Greenpeace, to power both iTunes and iCloud. Part of that comes from its solar station, which is the largest privately owned one in the U.S., and is responsible for keeping its North Carolina data center humming along. Facebook uses half clean energy sources, and is investing in renewable energy initiatives to power its North Carolina and Iowa data centers, which serve itself as well as Instagram. Google also uses a good chunk of clean energy, powering about 34 percent of its web-based properties (including Gmail, YouTube, and Google Play) from clean sources.
What’s next? Greenpeace calls for all major web companies to make a commitment to becoming 100 percent renewably powered, and to become transparent in respect to their energy sources. Finally, they’d like the Internet giants to figure out a clear strategy for leaning more heavily on renewable energy sources.