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Microsoft gets decent clean energy marks from Greenpeace

Apple, Google, Microsoft come out clean in Greenpeace cloud rankings, Amazon dirty

Greenpeace has published a report on the renewable energy used by major internet companies, including those active in the mobile space. Topping the list is Apple, which apparently runs iCloud and iTunes on 100% green electricity. It’s got a massive solar farm powering its North Carolina data center, and plans for geothermal and solar power for its upcoming Nevada data center. Oregon and California data centers are already being powered through wind energy partners.

Google scored fairly well, with 34% of their data centers running on green power. This includes YouTube, the Play Store, Gmail, and all of the other Google services we use daily. Google has made businesses for renewable energy companies in Oklahoma and North Carolina.

Microsoft received C’s across the board from Greenpeace when it comes to renewable energy. The biggest complaint was that Microsoft was leaning on the purchase of carbon offset and renewable energy credits, rather than weaning themselves off dirty power. Still, Microsoft has an agreement in place to power a Texas data center with wind power.

Across the board, Amazon scored very poorly, primarily because of a lack of transparency in the types of energy they use. Amazon’s massive North Virginia web services data center is apparently only powered by 2% renewable energy.

Greenpeace cloud cleanliness rankings

Green power is a pretty big deal, and it’s good to see the companies we’re keeping in business are making strides to become environmentally friendly. There are, of course, lots of different aspects that manufacturing partners need to keep an eye out for, but that’s a different story. Be sure to check out Greenpeace’s Clicking Green report over here [pdf]. Amazon's full report is on page 45, Apple's on 46, Google's on 52, and Microsoft's on 55.

Source: Greenpeace

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Reader comments

Microsoft gets decent clean energy marks from Greenpeace

15 Comments

well, the xbox music app on WP 8.1 still sucks pretty bad, really sad, there is no good way to listen to your music without downloading a different music app

Do they think that Google owns Snapchat and Amazon owns Vine, Pinterest, and Tumblr? Hmm...I'll take their word seriously...

Yeah, that is clearly a load of complete bullshit. There is no way giant data centers are completely reliant on wind or solar power. Very laughable.

Meh. Greenpeace has an irrational hatred of nuclear power. Wind and solar require other sources (natural gas or hydroelectric, for instance) to make up for when the wind doesn't blow and/or the Sun doesn't shine. France emits much less carbon dioxide from its mostly nuclear grid than the nuclearphobes in Germany and Italy, for instance.

Even ignoring that, power is needed to produce wind turbines and solar panels. The whole life carbon emissions aren't very impressive for either. That's ignoring some nasty chemicals used in the production of panels.