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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags AppleenvironmentGreen technologylaptopsGreenpeace

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

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?