Greenpeace: Apple the top environmental offender in tech

Greenpeace slams Apple over cloud computing facility claiming the company is the worst environmental offender in tech.

Apple has long prided itself on the environmental consciousness behind its products, and consistently aims to get greener. But according to Greenpeace's report ] measuring the amount and type of energy consumed by top tech companies' data centers, Apple is doing a poor job with its energy consumption.

The report, "How Dirty is Your Data?", compared Apple to other top tech companies such as Amazon's Web Services, Facebook, Google, HP, Microsoft, Twitter, and Yahoo. Apple scored the lowest -- 6.7 per cent -- in its overall Clean Energy Index, while Yahoo scored the highest, with 55.9 per cent. Apple was also the worst offender in terms of coal intensity, scoring 54.5 per cent, with Facebook trailing closely behind with 53.2 per cent.

Accepting the brunt of the blame is Apple's 500,000-square-foot facility coming online in Maiden, North Carolina -- a facility that, according to Greenpeace, will consume as much energy as 80,000 U.S. homes. Greenpeace does give props for Apple's transparency about the environmental footprint of its hardware -- such as MacBooks and iPhones -- it received a C-grade for transparency when it comes to the current or expected impacts of its online products.

Apple also got an F-grade for environmental awareness of its siting, meaning that North Carolina facility -- the same one that will stream iTunes to your iOS device soon -- is smack dab in the middle of what Greenpeace calls the "dirty data triangle." Google and Facebook also have facilities on that grid, which is made up of only about 5 per cent clean energy, with the rest coming from either coal (62 per cent) or nuclear (32 per cent).

Greenpeace's report wasn't all condemnation, though. The organization did say, essentially, that Apple was "getting better." Plus the data collected for the report didn't come directly from the companies under scrutiny, as there is no law in the U.S. requiring that. The report drew publicly available information on "recent investments of select brands and current clean energy supply associated with each investment," and from there, matched that information with data from the government or utilities.

Still, nobody likes getting an F.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags ApplelaptopsGreen technologyGreenpeaceenvironment

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Brennon Slattery

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?