Apple retains top spot as Greenpeace puts pressure on technology firms to boost green energy commitments
Netflix, Amazon and Samsung are lagging behind in their strides towards 100 per cent renewable energy, according to global climate change campaigner Greenpeace’s latest report on the Green Internet?’
The research outlines the energy footprints of data centre operators and nearly 70 of the world’s most popular websites, and praises Apple, Google and Facebook for their efforts in going green.
Along with the report, Greenpeace is calling on all major internet companies to make a long term commitment to be 100 percent powered by renewables, be transparent on their IT energy performance and the consumption of resources and develop a strategy for increasing their supply of renewable energy.
The future’s green
In terms of rankings, Apple has retained top spot among platform operators, receiving an ‘A’ grade along with Google and Facebook. Colocation operator Switch also scored highly, whilst Amazon, Alibaba, Baidu, Netflix, Oracle and Samsung failed to impress.
In the world of social media, 15 of the 19 companies evaluated received ‘F’ grades, including the likes of Twitter, Reddit and Pinterest, suggesting that investment in clean energy is not viewed as a priority by the industry.
“Amazon continues to talk a good game on renewables but is keeping its customers in the dark on its energy decisions. This is concerning, particularly as Amazon expands into markets served by dirty energy,” said Greenpeace USA Senior IT Analyst, Gary Cook.
“Like Apple, Facebook, and Google, Netflix is one of the biggest drivers of the online world and has a critical say in how it is powered. Netflix must embrace the responsibility to make sure its growth is powered by renewables, not fossil fuels and it must show its leadership here.”
Greenpeace has extended its report this year to include Asian companies for the first time, with tech giants such as Tencent, Baidu, Alibaba, and Naver all featuring.
The region is currently well behind the US when it comes to renewable commitments, largely due to the availability of fewer clean energy options.
“Leading tech companies in the US have shown that clean power can be both good for the environment and for business. East Asian companies must step up to embrace that reality as well,” said Jude Lee, Senior Climate and Energy Campaigner at Greenpeace East Asia.
When power for devices, data centres and related infrastructural needs, it becomes clear that the internet that so many of us depend on requires a huge amount of energy.
The IT sector is already estimated to consume approximately 7 per cent of global electricity, which is expected to increase further as internet traffic continues to grow.
Video streaming alone accounted for 63 per cent of global internet traffic in 2015 – projected to reach about 80 percent by 2020 – and Greenpeace is clearly letting businesses know that there is more work to be done in increasing the use of renewables.