Apple once again tops in tech for environmentally-friendly datacenters, Greenpeace says

Posted:
in iCloud edited May 2015
Apple continues to outpace its Silicon Valley brethren when it comes to making environmentally conscious choices for its expanding datacenter footprint, according to Greenpeace's annual cloud computing report.


Apple's Maiden, N.C. solar farm. | Source: Apple


For the second year in a row, Apple booked a perfect 100 on Greenpeace's clean energy index. The company was given "A" ratings across the board for energy transparency, renewable energy commitment and siting policy, energy efficiency and mitigation, and renewable energy deployment and advocacy.

Second-place Yahoo scored 73, while no other company broke 50.

"Apple continues to lead the charge in powering its corner of the internet with renewable energy even as it continues to rapidly expand," the report reads. "All three of its data center expansions announced in the past year will be powered with renewable energy. Apple is also having a positive impact on pushing major colocation providers to help it maintain progress toward its 100% renewable energy goal."

Greenpeace is particularly taken with Apple's approach to bypassing stubborn utility operators by building its own renewable energy facilities. Apple has built numerous solar farms adjacent to its datacenters and also invested in hydroelectric power projects and fuel cell installations.

"Apple has led the charge in deploying on-site or nearby renewable energy investments," Greenpeace said. This is an important step, as such actions "send an unambiguous signal to power companies that they risk losing their customers' money if they do not respond to their demands, giving teeth to customers' demands for a greener offering."

Earlier this year, Apple announced that all of its U.S. operations and 87 percent of its international footprint is now powered by renewable energy, with plans to reach 100 percent in the near future. The company has also expanded its environmental initiatives to include resource management, purchasing tens of thousands of acres of working forests in the U.S. and China.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 29
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,570member
    Why isn't greenpease giving Google all kind of crap like they did to Apple for years even though Apple was doing far more than most of its competitors at the time.

    Once again Greenpeace complains but comes with no real solution to the problem. Solar and wind are not the solution. Solar cells have a life of 10 to 15 yrs and their efficiencies begin dropping way off, plus all the nasty chemicals need to make them plus the energy required to make them. A power plant will last 50 to 100 yrs and amount of land need to house the power plant and the coal needed is far less then solar equivalent.

    Those who hate coal power plants never talk about the down side of their alternatives and the real cost for their solutions and their solutions have bad side effects just like a coal power plant
  • Reply 2 of 29
    prolineproline Posts: 191member
    Leave it to Greenpeace to applaud when a multinational decides to pave over thousands of acres of human and animal habitat in the name of renewable energy. Meanwhile they will continue to protest other cleaner sources of energy such as natural gas and nuclear which they do not perceive as "renewable" enough. To them, "renewable" has become an ideology, even a religion, rather than an option that needs to be considered on its merits. And because it is now a religion, they blind themselves to any evidence that it might be wrong- the habitat destruction of solar farms, the dead birds, bats, and insects from wind power plants- none of that matters and its blasphemy to mention it.

    Gotta love Greenpeace.
  • Reply 3 of 29
    linkmanlinkman Posts: 909member
    In spite of this all of the other eco-terrorist organizations will scream and going into hissy fits and complain that Apple isn't doing enough, Apple is still using dangerous chemicals, Apple is not protecting workers from harm, blah blah blah.
  • Reply 4 of 29
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,617member
    maestro64 wrote: »
    Why isn't greenpease giving Google all kind of crap like they did to Apple for years even though Apple was doing far more than most of its competitors at the time.

    Once again Greenpeace complains but comes with no real solution to the problem. Solar and wind are not the solution. Solar cells have a life of 10 to 15 yrs and their efficiencies begin dropping way off, plus all the nasty chemicals need to make them plus the energy required to make them. A power plant will last 50 to 100 yrs and amount of land need to house the power plant and the coal needed is far less then solar equivalent.

    Those who hate coal power plants never talk about the down side of their alternatives and the real cost for their solutions and their solutions have bad side effects just like a coal power plant
    They actually consider Google in the same small and elite group as Apple and Facebook, saying Google is matching Apple in the deployment of renewable energy. The report is a bit confusing to me at least.
    700
  • Reply 5 of 29
    iobserveiobserve Posts: 95member
    maestro64 wrote: »
    Why isn't greenpease giving Google all kind of crap like they did to Apple for years even though Apple was doing far more than most of its competitors at the time.

    Once again Greenpeace complains but comes with no real solution to the problem. Solar and wind are not the solution. Solar cells have a life of 10 to 15 yrs and their efficiencies begin dropping way off, plus all the nasty chemicals need to make them plus the energy required to make them. A power plant will last 50 to 100 yrs and amount of land need to house the power plant and the coal needed is far less then solar equivalent.

    Those who hate coal power plants never talk about the down side of their alternatives and the real cost for their solutions and their solutions have bad side effects just like a coal power plant
    Sorry, this was a completely ignorant statement about the efficiencies of solar and the wanton wastefulness and pollution of coal. Solar panels last 20 years with virtually no upkeep and pay for themselves within 6-8. Coal is dirt cheap and almost as clean as dirt. Solar is much greener, more renewable, and less polluting. Time to get out of the era of steam engines and think about the future for others and your children.
  • Reply 6 of 29
    prolineproline Posts: 191member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iObserve View Post



    Time to get out of the era of steam engines and think about the future for others and your children.

    Obviously coal is bad. However, the future I want for my children is not one where millions of acres are sacrificed to large-scale solar farms while hundreds of millions of tons of caustic lithium batteries are produced (requiring enormous mining operations) and disposed of each year to get us through the nights and cloudy days (as Musk / Tesla is currently advocating). Being renewable and carbon free doesn't mean the impacts will be small. I'd much rather they have a few small, modern nuclear plants running off recycled nuclear waste, of which we already have enough to last for centuries without the need for further mining.

  • Reply 7 of 29
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,120member
    iobserve wrote: »
    Sorry, this was a completely ignorant statement about the efficiencies of solar and the wanton wastefulness and pollution of coal. Solar panels last 20 years with virtually no upkeep and pay for themselves within 6-8. Coal is dirt cheap and almost as clean as dirt. Solar is much greener, more renewable, and less polluting. Time to get out of the era of steam engines and think about the future for others and your children.

    Well during the day, you can have your clean energy and at night sit around with candles and no power until the next day unless the weather is poor. You have to have real power plants to cover everyone at any time.
  • Reply 8 of 29
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,258member
    iobserve wrote: »
    Sorry, this was a completely ignorant statement about the efficiencies of solar and the wanton wastefulness and pollution of coal. Solar panels last 20 years with virtually no upkeep and pay for themselves within 6-8. Coal is dirt cheap and almost as clean as dirt. Solar is much greener, more renewable, and less polluting. Time to get out of the era of steam engines and think about the future for others and your children.

    Agreed, but you just insulted good old dirt! ;)
  • Reply 9 of 29
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,697member
    maestro64 wrote: »
    Why isn't greenpease giving Google all kind of crap like they did to Apple for years even though Apple was doing far more than most of its competitors at the time.

    Once again Greenpeace complains but comes with no real solution to the problem. Solar and wind are not the solution. Solar cells have a life of 10 to 15 yrs and their efficiencies begin dropping way off, plus all the nasty chemicals need to make them plus the energy required to make them. A power plant will last 50 to 100 yrs and amount of land need to house the power plant and the coal needed is far less then solar equivalent.

    Those who hate coal power plants never talk about the down side of their alternatives and the real cost for their solutions and their solutions have bad side effects just like a coal power plant

    They point at Apple because of their visibility, and ever since Jobs was there Apple has touted their environmental policies. Google, less so.

    Solar is the best alternative so far. Panels last longer than 10-15 years. They can last 40 years, and as usual, newer tech outlasts older tech.

    Coal plants? Seriously!
  • Reply 10 of 29
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,697member
    proline wrote: »
    Leave it to Greenpeace to applaud when a multinational decides to pave over thousands of acres of human and animal habitat in the name of renewable energy. Meanwhile they will continue to protest other cleaner sources of energy such as natural gas and nuclear which they do not perceive as "renewable" enough. To them, "renewable" has become an ideology, even a religion, rather than an option that needs to be considered on its merits. And because it is now a religion, they blind themselves to any evidence that it might be wrong- the habitat destruction of solar farms, the dead birds, bats, and insects from wind power plants- none of that matters and its blasphemy to mention it.

    Gotta love Greenpeace.

    Gas is by no means cleaner. And the problem with nuclear is where the large amount of waste goes. Also, unless you've got a solution to that problem, don't bother. I like nuclear as well, but I do admit that the waste problem is a biggie.
  • Reply 11 of 29
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,697member
    proline wrote: »
    Obviously coal is bad. However, the future I want for my children is not one where millions of acres are sacrificed to large-scale solar farms while hundreds of millions of tons of caustic lithium batteries are produced (requiring enormous mining operations) and disposed of each year to get us through the nights and cloudy days (as Musk / Tesla is currently advocating). Being renewable and carbon free doesn't mean the impacts will be small. I'd much rather they have a few small, modern nuclear plants running off recycled nuclear waste, of which we already have enough to last for centuries without the need for further mining.

    We're no going to see nuclear plants producing their own fuel. That horse has left the barn a long time ago with the rise in terrorism. The chance of that material getting captured is too great. It doesn't get proceed in the premises, and not leave the premises. It has to go to a reprocessing plant. And that material is of a low bomb quality. Not going to happen! It's what we're trying to prevent Iran from doing with their breeder reactor the Russians built for them.
  • Reply 12 of 29
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,509member
    proline wrote: »
    Leave it to Greenpeace to applaud when a multinational decides to pave over thousands of acres of human and animal habitat in the name of renewable energy. Meanwhile they will continue to protest other cleaner sources of energy such as natural gas and nuclear which they do not perceive as "renewable" enough. To them, "renewable" has become an ideology, even a religion, rather than an option that needs to be considered on its merits. And because it is now a religion, they blind themselves to any evidence that it might be wrong- the habitat destruction of solar farms, the dead birds, bats, and insects from wind power plants- none of that matters and its blasphemy to mention it.

    Gotta love Greenpeace.

    That's funny looking pavement under those solar panels.
  • Reply 13 of 29
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,697member
    jbdragon wrote: »
    Well during the day, you can have your clean energy and at night sit around with candles and no power until the next day unless the weather is poor. You have to have real power plants to cover everyone at any time.

    That's what batteries are for. With the cost of producing solar dropping so fast, in a matter of time, not so far away, we'll,see cell installations that produce much more power than needed during the day. Some do that now.

    In Hawaii, the power company is complaining that homeowners are pumping so much energy back into the grid, that they don't know what to do with it. They've been ordered to fix their system so that they do know. That's how it should be.
  • Reply 14 of 29
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,163member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by melgross View Post





    And the problem with nuclear is where the large amount of waste goes. 

    4th-gen nuclear (i.e., traveling wave reactors that use depleted uranium, see, e.g., http://terrapower.com) is well on its way to solving this problem.

  • Reply 15 of 29
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,163member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by melgross View Post



    We're no going to see nuclear plants producing their own fuel. That horse has left the barn a long time ago with the rise in terrorism. The chance of that material getting captured is too great. It doesn't get proceed in the premises, and not leave the premises. It has to go to a reprocessing plant. And that material is of a low bomb quality. Not going to happen! It's what we're trying to prevent Iran from doing with their breeder reactor the Russians built for them.

    Technologies have come a long way to address these types of concerns (see my post above). Not saying it will happen in the next year or two, but we might well see a lot of them by 2025.

  • Reply 16 of 29
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,831member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post





    That's funny looking pavement under those solar panels.

    <img class=" src="http://forums-files.appleinsider.com/images/smilies//lol.gif" />

  • Reply 17 of 29
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,096member

    When Apple was on Greenpeace’s shit list they stopped at nothing to embarrass  the company. They hung banners, they started online campaigns, they were constantly in Apple’s face. So now Apple is a good guy to them but are they going after HP, Dell, Microsoft , and all the others mentioned? Nope, just a mention in the report, that’s all.

  • Reply 18 of 29
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,831member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

     

    When Apple was on Greenpeace’s shit list they stopped at nothing to embarrass  the company. They hung banners, they started online campaigns, they were constantly in Apple’s face. So now Apple is a good guy to them but are they going after HP, Dell, Microsoft , and all the others mentioned? Nope, just a mention in the report, that’s all.


     

    Do you guys even think about doing any research into your broad claims?

     

    HP were in Greenpeace's good books in 2011: http://www.environmentalleader.com/2011/11/09/hp-knocks-nokia-from-lead-in-greenpeace-electronics-guide/

      But have been targetted in the past:  http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240061839/Greenpeace-protesters-target-HP

     

    Dell rated second place on the same measure (ahead of Apple): http://www.pcworld.com/article/243457/hp_dell_overtake_nokia_in_updated_greenpeace_guide_to_greener_electronics.html

      But have also been targetted in the past: http://www.networkworld.com/article/2205593/smb/greenpeace-protests-outside-dell-offices-in-europe--india.html

     

    Microsoft recently got a scathing report from Greenpeace:  http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/climate-change/cool-it/Campaign-analysis/coolit-leaderboard/Microsoft/

      And whadya know, here they are being targetted:  http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/makingwaves/clippys-back-with-a-message-for-microsoft-giv/blog/42768/

     

     

    There are further examples for all three.  The world does not revolve around Apple, even if you only get your tech news from Apple sites.

  • Reply 19 of 29
    libdemlibdem Posts: 36member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JBDragon View Post





    Well during the day, you can have your clean energy and at night sit around with candles and no power until the next day unless the weather is poor. You have to have real power plants to cover everyone at any time.



    Yes as we all know it is impossible to store electric charge.

    Of course! 

    *slowly clapping hands*

  • Reply 20 of 29
    prolineproline Posts: 191member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post





    That's funny looking pavement under those solar panels.

    Are you really obliviously to the huge drop in ecological output that happens when you block out the sun, are you content with replacing actual diverse ecosystems with a little bit of quack grass, or is this a pathetic attempt to be clever?

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by libdem View Post

     



    Yes as we all know it is impossible to store electric charge.

    Of course! 

    *slowly clapping hands*


    So you don't foresee any ecological complications resulting from building a billion refrigerator sizes batteries to give us energy when solar doesn't? That's every bit as short-sighted as the fossil fuel economy ever was.

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post



    We're no going to see nuclear plants producing their own fuel. That horse has left the barn a long time ago with the rise in terrorism. The chance of that material getting captured is too great. It doesn't get proceed in the premises, and not leave the premises. It has to go to a reprocessing plant. And that material is of a low bomb quality. Not going to happen! It's what we're trying to prevent Iran from doing with their breeder reactor the Russians built for them.


     

    Yeah, you might be right, but in that case sacrificing the environment and future of our planet on the altar of some terrorist boogie-man is exactly what Greenpeace should be protesting. The actual threat of dying from terrorist activities occurring in the US is far, far less than the chance of being killed by getting trampled by a moose. Time to get our priorities straight.

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