Apple's Dirty Data

Standard Page - 2012-04-18
With a globally ubiquitous brand and seemingly endless innovation streak, Apple is inarguably one of the planet’s most commanding IT companies. Unfortunately, dirty coal is overwhelmingly meeting Apple’s data center energy demands.


Now the things you do on your phone have an impact on the world. With iCloud, Apple pollutes everywhere. Automatically.

(Download the entire report: How Clean is Your Cloud?)

Apple is now becoming as well-known for its cloud-based services as it is for its familiar devices; the iCloud gives new storage and collaboration capability to our iPhones, iPads and iPods. To create an Apple-worthy cloud, the company has invested more than $1 billion USD in the iDataCenter in North Carolina — one of the world's largest. Another center of similar capability is coming on line in Oregon.

Like North Carolina, it will be predominantly powered by coal. Apple is very selective, even secretive, about iCloud energy specifics for both facilities, and lacks a siting policy specifying the importance of accessing renewable energy. As a result, dirty utilities are overwhelmingly meeting Apple’s data center energy demands.

That's not to say Apple is avoiding renewable energy investment. As much as 10 percent of the North Carolina center's needs will be met by clean energy, including on-site generation. But if the company wants to reinforce its image as a Green IT leader, Apple can access its astonishing cash reserves to make further investments in renewable energy solutions, and pressure its current energy providers such as Duke Energy to do the same.

(Download the entire report: How Clean is Your Cloud?)