A new movement is taking green practices to the internet, with the biggest IT companies cleaning themselves up and using sustainable and energy efficient practices. Greenpeace conducted its annual report on the most and least green companies and found that this year Apple was the most improved company in terms of using and promoting green internet practices while Amazon lags behind the rest as one of the least clean companies.
In its April 2014 report, Greenpeace created an IT company scorecard, which it used to evaluate and grade top companies on their clean energy practices. First Greenpeace measured the companies’ energy sources by analyzing how much of their energy comes from clean energy, natural gas, coal and nuclear sources. Next, Greenpeace assessed the companies based on green transparency and how much effort they put into promoting green practices, including “Renewable Energy Commitment & Siting Policy,” “Energy Efficiency & Mitigation” and “Renewable Energy Deployment & Advocacy.”
Among the top ranked companies for green practices are Apple, Facebook, Akamai and Google. Apple showed the most improvement among the IT companies since Greenpeace’s previous report, showing that Apple took initiative and is determined to pursue green tech practices like running on 100% renewable power.
Twitter, Oracle and Amazon are at the bottom of the scale. Amazon, for one, does not report on its energy sources or environmental footprint, making it one of the “dirtiest and least transparent” of all the companies.
Beyond the scorecard, Greenpeace found other key takeaways from its analysis. Apple, Box, Facebook, Google, Rackspace and Salesforce committed to work toward using 100% renewable energy to power their data centers. Several prominent companies, including Apple and Facebook, have also become transparent about their energy use, disregarding the worries of competition and opening up about energy data. Still, energy transparency could improve as it remains low among IT companies.
Apple, Facebook and Google in particular have shown the strongest commitment to creating a green internet. The three companies put so much pressure on energy mogul Duke Energy in North Carolina that it adopted a Green Source Rider, opening the market to renewable purchases for customers in the state. Google also maintains its spot as a leader in building an internet powered by renewabe energy by expanding renewable energy purchases and investing in its energy vendors. In addition, Facebook showed significant effort for clean energy practices when it decided to put a data center in Iowa, creating the largest purchase of wind turbines in the world yet.
Despite the fact that some IT companies still lag behind, there has been significant progress among the big IT companies toward turning to clean energy and helping transform the internet into a system run on green technology.
Featured image by Greenpeace