This week, after hundreds of thousands of Apple customers and Greenpeace supporters asked the company to use clean energy instead of dirty coal, it announced a significant investment in local renewable energy to power its data centre in North Carolina, US.
The announcement is a great sign that Apple is taking seriously the hundreds of thousands of its customers who have asked for an iCloud powered by clean energy, not dirty coal and comes on the heels of a Greenpeace demonstration at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino where activists delivered messages from customers and supporters around the world.
However, there’s still so much more to be done, and we think that Apple can go all the way. Apple’s doubling of its solar capacity and investment in local renewable energy are key steps to creating a cleaner iCloud, but Greenpeace supporters and Apple’s customers still look forward to hearing details about how Apple plans to fulfil its commitment to renewable energy for its North Carolina and Oregon data centres in the US. Apple is still one of US energy giant Duke Energy's largest customers, and will have to demand Duke provide the clean energy it needs to legitimately claim the iCloud is 100% powered by renewable energy.
Greenpeace will continue its campaign to push Apple and other IT giants like Microsoft and Amazon, to clean the cloud until Apple has policies to ensure that as Apple’s North Carolina data centre and others continue to grow, they will grow using exclusively clean energy. To guarantee that, Apple must adopt a firm siting policy to prioritise renewable energy when it chooses locations for new data centres. Only then will customers have confidence that the iCloud will continue to get cleaner as it grows.