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These six leading Internet companies are helping to build the green internet by committing to power their operations with 100 % renewable energy. Find out how each of them are doing it.


Google’s massive internet ecosystem means its energy demand is the highest of any of the green internet leaders on this page, but the company has still been able to power 34 % of its data centers with renewable energy - and that means our searches, Gmail, and YouTube videos all are being increasingly powered by clean sources of energy. Google’s pioneering use of power purchase agreements to procure clean energy has been adopted by others in the sector, like Microsoft, and it has successfully influenced utilities in Oklahoma and North Carolina to offer new renewable energy options by using its immense business clout. Google has also invested over $1 billion in 15 renewable energy projects.


Facebook’s 1.2 billion monthly active users can be happy to know that Facebook is getting greener. Thanks to the loud call Facebook heard from its users to go green, the company made a pledge in the end of 2011 to move toward 100 % renewable energy. Facebook’s latest data center will be in Iowa, where its agreement to purchase 100% wind power pushed the local energy utility to invest nearly $2 billion in wind energy and make the largest single purchase of wind turbines in the world!


The next time you’re listening to iTunes, you can smile knowing that your music is being powered by clean energy. Apple is bringing its trademark innovation to the effort to green the internet, starting with its 2012 commitment to power the iCloud with 100 % renewable energy. Apple made good on its pledge by building the two largest privately owned solar farms in the country at its North Carolina data center, and then working with its utility in Nevada to power its upcoming data center there with an innovative new type of solar panels that concentrate sunlight up to seven times!


Though not a household name, Rackspace is well-known among IT companies as one of the leading cloud and managed hosting providers. Rackspace committed in 2012 to become 100% renewably powered as part of a forward thinking energy policy, and is now in the early stages of making that commitment a reality. The company’s sustainability director described why they’ve set the ambitious goal at a Greenpeace forum in November, saying: “Our customers simply expect green energy.”


If you work in the business world, you’ve probably heard of Salesforce, which is growing fast as it provides customer management tools and other cloud computing products to businesses. Forbes called Salesforce the most innovative company in America in 2013, and Salesforce showed that it can apply that innovation to sustainability when it committed to powering its cloud with 100 % clean energy. The company’s rapid growth means that it will need more data centers soon to store its clients’ data, which is why it’s so important that Salesforce has committed to grow using renewable energy.


Box became the sixth and latest company to join the growing club of global technology firms who have committed to powering their cloud computing operations with 100 % renewable energy. Box houses its customers’ data in rented co-location facilities, and its new policy shows that all cloud computing companies, even young ones, can make the smart decision of moving toward renewable energy, whether they own their own data centers or not.

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Clicking Clean: Which companies are building us a green Internet?

Blog by David Pomerantz | May 12, 2015

Apple, Facebook and Google continue to lead efforts to build an Internet that is renewably powered, but uncooperative electric companies and rapid energy demand growth for the Internet places those ambitions under threat, according to a new...

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