updated 12:05 pm EDT, Tue April 17, 2012
Google, Facebook named among better firms
Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft are among companies Greenpeace is criticizing in a new report on sourcing clean power for datacenters. The activist organization has rated a little over a dozen Internet-based companies on factors like their consideration of clean power when picking a location, their advocacy for the idea, and how transparent their clean power strategy is. Apple and Amazon have each been given Fs for their location choices; some examples are Apple's datacenter in North Carolina, and Amazon's presence in Northern Virginia, both of which are said to be dependent on a mix of coal and nuclear power.
The two companies have been rated D and F for transparency, respectively. Doing somewhat better in this regard is Google, which recently published its energy footprint for the first time. Facebook has also received some praise; while Greenpeace was extremely critical of the company in 2011, is is said to be making a better commitment to clean power, and in fact choosing locations like Sweden that allow much of a datacenter's energy to come from clean sources.
Apple is working on alleviating at least some of the impact of its North Carolina facility. A solar array is in development, as is a fuel cell facility. How much of Apple's power requirements can be met by renewable energy is uncertain.