Apple has remained among the most aggressive in the sector in its efforts to power its online platform with renewable energy. Apple continues to play an important role in opening access to renewable energy new markets where it has located its data centers, such as the company’s most recent data center in Arizona. Apple has also played a catalytic role within its IT supply chain, pushing other IT data center and cloud operators who help deliver pieces of Apple’s corner of the internet to follow their lead in powering their operations with renewable energy, though with slower success than its own data centers thus far.
In a press release Greenpeace calls out Amazon and Netflix to work harder towards becoming renewably powered.
"Amazon continues to talk a good game on renewables but is keeping its customers in the dark on its energy decisions. This is concerning, particularly as Amazon expands into markets served by dirty energy," said Greenpeace USA Senior IT Analyst, Gary Cook.
"Like Apple, Facebook, and Google, Netflix is one of the biggest drivers of the online world and has a critical say in how it is powered. Netflix must embrace the responsibility to make sure its growth is powered by renewables, not fossil fuels and it must show its leadership here" continued Cook.
Netflix has one of the largest data footprints of the companies profiled, accounting for one third of internet traffic in North America and contributing significantly to the worldwide data demand from video streaming. The company announced in 2015 that it intended to fully offset its carbon footprint, but a closer examination reveals it is likely turning to carbon offsets or unbundled renewable energy credits, which do little to increase renewable energy investment
For the first time, this year's report also evaluates Asian companies including tech giants Tencent, Baidu, Alibaba, and Naver, which are steadily expanding globally. The region is well behind the US market in renewable commitments, due in large part to fewer clean energy options from monopoly utilities.
"Leading tech companies in the US have shown that clean power can be both good for the environment and for business. East Asian companies must step up to embrace that reality as well," said Jude Lee, Senior Climate and Energy Campaigner at Greenpeace East Asia.
Nearly 20 IT companies have committed to 100% renewable energy use now. Among all data centres evaluated, Switch - a new entry to this year's report - is making the best progress to transitioning its data center fleet to renewables through both procurement and aggressive advocacy.
The IT industry's energy footprint accounted for 7% of global electricity in 2012, a number set to grow as global internet traffic increases, and even exceed 12% by 2017. Video streaming accounts for 63% of global internet traffic in 2015, and is projected to reach about 80% by 2020, according to Cisco Network Traffic Forecast, 2016.
More details in the full report linked below...