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Greenpeace slams Apple's iCloud for relying 'heavily on dirty energy'

post #1 of 112
Thread Starter 
A new report from Greenpeace accuses Apple of lagging behind other technology companies, such as Facebook and Google, in utilizing environmentally friendly power for its cloud-based services.

The new report issued on Tuesday, entitled "How Clean is Your Cloud?," pans Apple's iCloud service for relying largely on coal-based power. Apple was lumped in with Amazon and Microsoft as companies that Greenpeace claims "rely heavily on dirty energy to power their clouds."

"Instead of playing catch up, Apple has the ingenuity, on-hand cash and innovative spirit to Think Different and make substantial improvements in the type of energy that powers its cloud," the report reads.

Greenpeace ranked Apple poorly in four different categories that the company was graded on, earning a 'D' for transparency, 'F' for infrastructure siting, 'D' for energy efficiency and GHG mitigation, and 'D' for renewable energy investment and advocacy.

The environmental organization also dismissed Apple's 20-megawatt solar array that will help power its server farm in North Carolina. Greenpeace said that although "much has been made" of the solar farm, it will only account for 10 percent of their total power generation for the data center.

Greenpeace views the iCloud data center in Maiden, N.C. as "a good first step," but believes that the company should do more to reduce its reliance on "dirty energy."

"If Apple is really interested in having the 'high percentage' of renewable energy it claims to want for the iCloud, it will have to look beyond the initial steps for on-site generation and use its tremendous cash reserves to invest in or purchase renewable energy and also to put pressure on Duke Energy to provide cleaner energy," the report reads.




Duke Energy is the primary utility company for the western part of North Carolina where Apple's iCloud data center is located. Greenpeace has criticized Duke's reliance on "dirty coal plants" to provide power to facilities like Apple's.

Tuesday's report isn't the first time Greenpeace has called out Apple's data center in North Carolina. A year ago, the organization's "dirty Data" report rated Apple has having the lowest Clean Energy Index and the highest Coal Intensity among companies like Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Amazon.

Apple actually went down in the rankings this year for transparency, as last year the company was given a grade of 'C' in that category by Greenpeace. But this year Apple earned a 'D,' as the environmental group feels that Apple only offers "nuggets of detail and data that it feels are most favorable," while declining to reveal less flattering information.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 112
I guess you have to slam them before they Solar and Fuel Cell solutions go on-line, eh?
post #3 of 112
Why don't they focus on deforestation in Brazil, instead of publishing a bunch of worthless numbers that no one actually pays attention to?
post #4 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by CGJ View Post

Why don't they focus on deforestation in Brazil, instead of publishing a bunch of worthless numbers that no one actually pays attention to?

Do you mean the forest that Foxconn cut down to build their ipad assembly plant?
Sorry couldn't resist.
post #5 of 112
Greenpeace should stop crying wolf and praise Apple for all that they are doing.

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post #6 of 112
Kinda surprised that Dell ranked so high TBH.
post #7 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

Greenpeace should stop crying wolf and praise Apple for all that they are doing.

Supporting Apple or other companies' efforts to go green would probably be more fruitful than slamming them as they publicly make greener efforts. Instead of yelling at them for not going green fast enough, focus on those that are doing the opposite.

Greenpeace is run by environmentally overzealous fanatics that have clouded visions of impossible grandeur. It is a 'do this now or die' vibe they send out and that is why I refuse to support their efforts.
post #8 of 112
iCloud is newer. It "lags behind things that have been around longer. This is indeed true, but not surprising. Apples obviously building replacements for coal power already, but theye not done yet. So... what action is Greenpeace seeking beyond that?
post #9 of 112
I wonder how Greenpeace will rate Apple's new HQ in Cupertino when it opens?

post #10 of 112
Boneheads. There is nothing wrong with burning coal to generate power. It is done extremely clean and safely these days. Coal can help provide energy independence for this country - we have tons of it.

I would like to see the number of coal fired power plants quadruple, and an increase in the production of petroleum by squeezing shale. Greenpeace can kiss my posterior and go crawl back under the rock where they came from.

Apple should build several more data centers and locate them right smack in the center of coal powered areas of the country (where they're also likely to realize the lowest operational costs).
post #11 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by King of Beige View Post

I wonder how Greenpeace will rate Apple's new HQ in Cupertino when it opens?

They'll give it an F.

But they'll give it that before the roof panels are installed.

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post #12 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freshmaker View Post

Kinda surprised that Dell ranked so high TBH.

That's just because Dell isn't using much energy. If you're not building anything that anybody wants, it's easy to be green. Sorry. I normally hate snark.
post #13 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

Greenpeace should stop crying wolf and praise Apple for all that they are doing.

I'm pretty sure that that's what the "D" in Renewables & Advocacy is being given for. I expect that Greenpeace's complaint is mostly that, with so much money sitting around, Apple should be doing more than they are.

That's probably true, but Jobs never seemed to care all that much about these kinds of issue at the corporate level. If "100% recyclable" helped Apple market good looking products, then great. This doesn't really help market the cloud though (yet). Apple will care once consumers care. This is shrewd business and is one of the reasons that they have the pile of cash that Greenpeace is complaining about.
post #14 of 112
Greenpeace is clueless about electrical power distribution. Locating close to hydropower may save money, but it has little to do with clean versus dirty. If these allegedly 'clean' hosting sites weren't using that power, it'd be going out over the grid to other areas of the country, displacing coal power. The Pacific NW where I live routinely sends power down to California.

I suspect Apple's simply locating for reasons other than getting the cheapest electricity. And paying more for that electricity may mean is actually wastes less of it.
post #15 of 112
I wonder how much wasted energy went into creating this report?
post #16 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freshmaker View Post

Kinda surprised that Dell ranked so high TBH.

Why are you surprised? They donate to Greenpeace and Apple doesn't.
post #17 of 112
Really, who cares what Greenpeace says. At one time I thought they were doing something important , now they just make these stupid statements with these stupid charts. This group is a waste of everyones time. Go find a real cause to complain about.
post #18 of 112
This is why Apple never should have paid any attention or spent any time responding to previous Greenpeace complaints. Now they think they have power and can somehow influence what Apple has already decided to do. Greenpeace is far more interested in marketing their own brand than anything else, and Apple has given them an avenue to get their name in the news.
post #19 of 112
Greenpeace, shut-up already! No one cares... When the day comes that you are COMPLETELY off the power grid then you can start criticizing everyone else, until then shut-up!



Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

I guess you have to slam them before they Solar and Fuel Cell solutions go on-line, eh?

Of course then they can claim credit when these projects start-up because their push "made a change".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boltsfan17 View Post

I wonder how much wasted energy went into creating this report?

Too much. I guess all of these little commies have to figure out some way to spend their trust fund from mommy and daddy...
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post #20 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by jumper View Post

Really, who cares what Greenpeace says. At one time I thought they were doing something important , now they just make these stupid statements with these stupid charts. This group is a waste of everyones time. Go find a real cause to complain about.

I never much cared one way or the other. But if they slam Apple, then I hate them.

How DARE they?
post #21 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inkling View Post

Greenpeace is clueless about electrical power distribution. Locating close to hydropower may save money, but it has little to do with clean versus dirty. If these allegedly 'clean' hosting sites weren't using that power, it'd be going out over the grid to other areas of the country, displacing coal power. The Pacific NW where I live routinely sends power down to California.

I suspect Apple's simply locating for reasons other than getting the cheapest electricity. And paying more for that electricity may mean is actually wastes less of it.

You could have stopped at "Greenpeace is clueless".
post #22 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

iCloud is newer. It "lags behind things that have been around longer. This is indeed true, but not surprising. Apples obviously building replacements for coal power already, but theye not done yet. So... what action is Greenpeace seeking beyond that?

All the companies are high profile and they all use an awful lot of power. It seems logical to single them out as they 'should' be making a big effort and lead the way in big industry. The fact that Apple is doing something about it is a god reason to bring out the results now and not wait. Next time they may be able to highlight and compare to last year and by so doing use Apple as a positive example. I don't think we should attack Greenpeace for doing this - in the long term it is a good thing. Industry, and in particular wealthy corps, should go out of their way to be greener.

I wouldn't take these attacks personally. Greenpeace goes for high visibility as would anyone doing what they are doing. Marketing / campaigning / bang for buck... is all.
post #23 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by jumper View Post

Really, who cares what Greenpeace says. At one time I thought they were doing something important , now they just make these stupid statements with these stupid charts. This group is a waste of everyones time. Go find a real cause to complain about.


Agree. Greepeace ranks a tie with "SeaShepard" in my all time list of "activist groups" to hate.

Really can the press just ignore these folks
post #24 of 112
Every aspect of Greenpeace's operations is suspect and their underlying assumptions about what the power requirements for the Maiden datacenter are deeply flawed and based on older, less power efficient equipment, and does not (for example) take into account the gradual scaling of operations at Maiden. Their assumptions specifically are based on full power, full capacity using an estimated generalized equipment density based on the known rough square foot capacity of the building, using proven flawed (as previously published by them) energy profiles that provide an excessively high per square foot use. Their regional profiles also do not take into account intergrid power sharing - they only look at what power is being generated for that grid in sole. Their science is bad, their methodology is worse, and their approach designed to "cry wolf" using the highest profile companies to generate support and sympathy for their agenda. Pathetically disingenuous manipulation of the media to raise funds to continue their erroneous claim chowder machine.

*whew* I think that covers the most obvious points, there's more but they utterly fail just under those points.
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post #25 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by mytdave View Post

Boneheads. There is nothing wrong with burning coal to generate power. It is done extremely clean and safely these days. Coal can help provide energy independence for this country - we have tons of it. ...

This is absolute lies and nonsense. Every word of it.
post #26 of 112
So are Greenpeace going to turn off their own website (which is no doubt being hosted on a server somewhere and contributing to the use of this EVIL wasteful energy) and return to the ECO friendly paper pamphlets of the past which we all know never used this sort of dirty, EVIL energy to produce........thought not.

I'd like to see them spend their own ENERGY better by chasing up problem industries that aren't currently trying to do anything to reduce waste.

Why aren't they hassling the porn industry? Isn't the majority of web based server traffic supposedly made up of dirty EVIL porn?

I hate defending Apple, Microsoft, Dell etc but Greenpeace just seem to have their priorities skewed here, kinda like PETA executing more animals each year than the number they save.
post #27 of 112
They grand stand like this knowing full well what Apples plans are for their data centers. Knowing that they can use the fact that Apple will eventually have a greener power source than most as a way to manipulate their followers. A year from now they will take credit for Apples solar plant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexmit View Post

Supporting Apple or other companies' efforts to go green would probably be more fruitful than slamming them as they publicly make greener efforts. Instead of yelling at them for not going green fast enough, focus on those that are doing the opposite.

You need to understand this isnt about the environment per say, rather it is about money. This sort of behavior is what their followers (donators) expect to see. Such non sense assures continued flows of cash, from the easily manipulated.
Quote:
Greenpeace is run by environmentally overzealous fanatics that have clouded visions of impossible grandeur. It is a 'do this now or die' vibe they send out and that is why I refuse to support their efforts.

I've had the displeasure of knowing a gal involved with this group. Sadly reason and logic leaves the room when she was around. When I say Greenpeace is dangerous it is exactly what I mean as it is more of a cult than anything.

Mind you I'm all for greater environmental protections, I've seen the effects of Acid rain and other pollution first hand. The problem isn't the cause but rather the irrational people involved with Greenpeace.
post #28 of 112
Greenpeace - still smoking pot after all these years.
post #29 of 112
Guess bank accounts are a little low. Time for some fundraising.

-kpluck

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post #30 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

I wouldn't take these attacks personally.

If Apple's reputation is tarnished, then so too is the reputation of all of its customers.

I call that personal.
post #31 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

iCloud is newer. It "lags behind” things that have been around longer. This is indeed true, but not surprising. Apple’s obviously building replacements for coal power already, but they’e not done yet. So... what action is Greenpeace seeking beyond that?

indeed. This is a project that has been around for what 2 years total. And Apple started working on things like Solar power from the start. Likely in part because Duke Energy, which Apple doesn't control, wasn't moving fast enough for Apple. But land deals etc take time.

Compare this to all the companies that aren't on this list. What about the car companies, what are they using for energy. What about the US government which allegedly has held up the adoption of electric cars at the behest of the very vocal oil lobby. What about state governments that haven't adopted plans to move off natural gas and to not only support but force the adoption of cleaner tech and the building out of mass transit to reduce the use of cars etc.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mytdave View Post

Boneheads. There is nothing wrong with burning coal to generate power. It is done extremely clean and safely these days. Coal can help provide energy independence for this country - we have tons of it.

You could be correct. Perhaps coal is being burned cleaner than before. And perhaps there is a ton of it that we can get safely without strip mining etc.

However, that doesn't mean that coal is the only or even best choice. Both in terms of clean and safe or even cheap. If we just go with your way of thinking then folks don't even try other methods and we could lose out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jukes View Post

That's probably true, but Jobs never seemed to care all that much about these kinds of issue at the corporate level.

Apple under Jobs used the same philosophy that Jobs did in his personal level. That being the Buddhist derived one that you don't do it for the press. Whether it's your environmental concerns or your charity ones, you don't hawk them as PR moves. Charity with a press release is about your ego, not the charity. This is why Apple's replies have always been replies. They will answer the question if pressed, especially if the other side is spreading FUD on the border of being total lies, but that's it. No "look at us" self patting on the back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by razorpit View Post

Greenpeace, shut-up already! No one cares... When the day comes that you are COMPLETELY off the power grid then you can start criticizing everyone else, until then shut-up!

I do wonder what cars they are driving, how their houses are powered etc.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #32 of 112
Greenpeace needs to suck some coal bags.

These groups are killing U.S. business. In order for there to be jobs and business we need reliable, affordable energy. Coal is one of our best and most prolific resources.

These other sources of energy fail to take into account the production costs, the life of the equipment and Government subsidies. When these are all factored in, most of the "renewable" energy sources are not sustainable and create more net pollution then their "dirty" counterparts.

Lets figure out how to use what we have as carefully as we can, but shutting down an entire viable industry is simply insane.
post #33 of 112
I am not sure how they are able to tease out, except for where server farms are located, what energy goes into what product.

My guess is that Greenpeace came out with this now and any improvement in any of the future numbers for any of the companies they will try to take credit for.

From my vantage point, Greenpeace doesn't have much credibility.

Neal
post #34 of 112
Where is the info from Greenpeace on how they rated these companies, the criteria and data they used and where they got that info. The categories seem a bit subjective and prone to personal bias.
post #35 of 112
So did Greenpeace examine the ice cores to come up with this assessment? Only the deniers ignore the ice cores. How many glaciers has Apple melted?

I did not know Dell offered any cloud services. They are not the first company I think of for hosting. Maybe they meant "clown services".

I wonder if anyone has done a study to examine how much energy is saved by using the cloud to work remotely and save workers from driving to offices to work every day?

As Eric Cartman would say "Greenpeace, you can suck my b*lls"
post #36 of 112
So now Greenpeace needs to join Consumer Reports in tailgating Apple's visibility to get their own publicity? Sad.
Two formerly great organizations reduced to trolling.
post #37 of 112
Greenpeace can go take their reports and stick it where the sun doesn't shine. I can't stand these groups. No matter what you do its never enough and theres always something you're doing wrong.
post #38 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by mytdave View Post

Boneheads. There is nothing wrong with burning coal to generate power. It is done extremely clean and safely these days. Coal can help provide energy independence for this country - we have tons of it.

You know this to be true because you saw your favorite politician on TV say this. You know he was telling you the truth because he had his favorite lobbyist standing behind him.
post #39 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by mytdave View Post

Boneheads. There is nothing wrong with burning coal to generate power. It is done extremely clean and safely these days. Coal can help provide energy independence for this country - we have tons of it.

I would like to see the number of coal fired power plants quadruple, and an increase in the production of petroleum by squeezing shale. Greenpeace can kiss my posterior and go crawl back under the rock where they came from.

Apple should build several more data centers and locate them right smack in the center of coal powered areas of the country (where they're also likely to realize the lowest operational costs).

Speaking as a grandson of a coal miner and former (and proud) resident of West Virginia: Uh, NO!
post #40 of 112
Apple does not run all of its operations on magical fairy dust, news at 11.

Greenpeace is still irrelevant, news at 12.
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