Greenpeace: Apple is IT's Dirtiest Company

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Apple ranked lowest on Greenpeace's report, which also states that data centers currently consume 1.5 to 2 percent of all global electricity, with an annual growth rate of 12 percent.

Bad Apple?

That’s what Greenpeace says in a new report that evaluates the use of fossil fuels by the top 10 cloud computing companies including Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon.

Apple gets the worst rating, but Greenpeace notes that most companies use “dirty” electricity such as coal to power their data centers, located in areas that are inexpensive but rely on nonrenewable energy.

According to the report (PDF alert), 54.5 percent of Apple’s data centers rely on coal, followed by Facebook at 53.2 percent. Overall, U.S. data centers consume 3 percent of the nation’s power supply, Greenpeace estimates, plus, the industry’s energy needs will only grow as the Internet and cloud computing expand.

The report also states that of the 10 brands graded, Akamai, a global content distribution network, earned high marks for transparency. Additionally, Yahoo! had the strongest infrastructure siting policy; Google and IBM demonstrated the most comprehensive overall approach to reduce its carbon footprint to date.

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