Greenpeace is calling on Apple to:
- Make it company policy to seek renewable energy when siting data centres.
- Urge their electricity suppliers to move away from dirty energy generation, investing instead in renewable energy generation, capacity, and efficiency.
- Advocate full transparency of their energy use and carbon footprint for all products, as well as their cloud presence.
- Encourage their product suppliers and manufacturers to adopt similar policies, and give preferences to green suppliers.
Last week, in response to the launch of our report 'How Clean is Your Cloud', Apple announced two things. First, they put out a much lower figure on the use of power in the data centres in North Carolina, claiming our figures were incorrect. (Learn why Apple's figures are different from ours.)
Second, they announced, for the first time, that their data centres in Prineville, Oregon will be powered with 100% renewable energy. Of course this sounds exciting. The key question is how will Apple achieve this? Apple hasn't explained where that clean energy will come from, and the major utility option in Prineville is PacifiCorp, which is 61% coal power.
We're asking Apple to fully disclose their plans so people can see how they intend to meet this goal. Will they choose to contract for renewable energy with the smaller utility in Prineville, Central Electric Cooperative, or simply buy dirty energy from PacifiCorp and purchase renewable energy credits? Or will they build their own renewable sources on site? Once Apple gives us details, we can of course review their position in our score card.
Meanwhile, what we're asking for remains unchanged. Apple currently has no policy that expresses preference for renewables, they are not active in advocating for renewables with their government or suppliers and they will not disclose their energy data for public scrutiny. As an enormously innovative, rich and powerful company, they could do all these things, as Google, Yahoo and Facebook have done, and more. Come on Apple, let’s think different.