Environmental group Greenpeace has singled out online company Amazon.com as one of the Internet’s dirtiest businesses. The company, which operates more than 300 data centres, depends on “dirty energy” sourced from coal and oil in order to operate its worldwide business, according to the group.
Well-known online companies such as Google and Facebook have prioritised green energy, according to the report. Greenpeace singled out Apple as a ‘green company’, noting that its commitment to renewable energy is impressive. Apple recently built its own private solar installation which is one of the largest in the United States.
Of the 19 companies surveyed by Greenpeace, five were committed to switching to renewable energy sources. Facebook, one of the largest companies in the report, is said to have recently petitioned one of its primary energy providers to fund a multi-billion dollar onshore wind turbine project.
Many international companies operating in the UK were praised by the report for their commitments to renewable energy. Hosting provider Rackspace operates its data centres using 100 per cent renewable energy, as does BT. Greenpeace claims that all Internet companies can commit to renewable energy by choosing to work with environmentally responsible hosting and bandwidth providers.
Amazon was the primary target of the report, dubbed the ‘worst offender’ by the environmental group due to its use of goal power. Just 15 per cent of Amazon data centres are powered by renewable energy, with coal powering 28 per cent of the company’s data centres and nuclear power accounting for 27 per cent of energy.
Twitter was another target of the report. The San Francisco-based company does not share its energy details with the public. Greenpeace noted that Twitter should pursue cleaner sources of energy – a strategy its rivals, including Facebook, have already committed to.