Greenpeace: Is Amazon’s new German data center really “carbon-neutral”?

October 27, 2014

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Oct. 27, 2014, SAN FRANCISCO – In response to a press release on Oct. 23 from Amazon Web Services announcing that its new data center in Frankfurt, Germany would be “carbon-neutral”, Greenpeace released the following statement from Senior Energy Campaigner David Pomerantz:

“It’s encouraging that Amazon seems to be recognizing that its customers want to power their data with renewable energy, but Amazon needs to release more information to give its customers confidence that its ‘carbon-neutral’ claim about its new Frankfurt data center holds water.

“While we would like to trust that Amazon’s new facility will actually be powered by renewable sources, Amazon’s refusal so far to disclose any data about its energy use makes it difficult for customers or the public to accept the company’s claim on good faith alone.

“Amazon has many options to procure renewable energy in Germany, where wind and solar are flourishing, and doing so would represent a welcome first step toward joining rivals like Google, Rackspace, Apple and Facebook, which are committed to powering their data centers with 100% renewable energy. If, however, Amazon is buying renewable energy credits or carbon offsets while continuing to power its Frankfurt facility with coal or nuclear energy, then its latest data center will continue the company’s track record as the dirtiest major cloud computing provider.

“Amazon will have a lot of work to do to clean its footprint outside of Germany as well: Over 60% of AWS’ computing power is centered in Virginia, where 97% of the electricity it buys is powered by coal, gas and nuclear power plants.”

For more information about Amazon and other internet companies’ energy footprints, see Greenpeace’s report, Clicking Clean: How Companies are Creating the Green Internet.

Contact: Joe Smyth, Greenpeace Communications, 831-566-5647, joe.smyth@greenpeace.org

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