For the third straight year, environmental organization Greenpeace has named Apple as the most environmentally friendly technology company in the world.
The organization’s latest report, Clicking Clean: Who is Winning the Race to Build a Green Internet, gives Apple a final grade of “A” with a clean energy index score of 83%. Others receiving an “A” grade were Facebook and Google with index scores of 67% and 56% respectively.
Thankfully we actually are seeing a significant increase in the prioritization of renewables among some of the largest internet companies. The race to build a renewably powered internet started with digital platform leaders such as Facebook, Apple, and Google who first made 100% renewable commitments four years ago and have now been joined by nearly 20 internet companies, including global cloud and colocation companies who had previously been lagging far behind. Companies entering the race to build a renewably powered internet are motivated by:
- Customers who have carbon or renewable energy goals demanding that their digital infrastructure is powered by clean sources of electricity;
- The rising cost competitiveness of renewable energy, with long-term contracts increasingly at cost parity or even beating fossil fuels in many markets, while also providing long-term price security.
- Competitiveness among IT companies and the linkage of brand identity with a renewable supply of energy, given the growing concern on climate change among employees and customers.
The report’s rankings are based on a number of specifications, such as renewable energy use, transparency, energy efficiency, and others.
Leaders Apple, Facebook, and Google had pledged in 2012 to commit to 100% renewable energy sources. Apple’s new Campus 2 headquarters — still under construction in Cupertino, Calif — will run entirely on renewable energy, supplied by an estimated 700,000 square feet of solar panels.
While the report contained a number of positives, troubling results are still being posted by East Asian Internet firms, which suffer from a lack of renewable energy in their regions. Greenpeace says the north and southeast Asian regions are the world’s biggest emitter of CO2.