A new report from Greenpeace has found that Apple, Facebook and Google, as well as relative newcomer Switch, are leading the way when it comes to building a renewably powered internet.
The report, Clicking Clean: Who is Winning the Race to Build a Green Internet, ranked companies on a range of green credentials, from energy transparency and renewable procurement to energy efficiency and mitigation.
For the third year in a row Apple leads the way, with a ‘final grade’ of ‘A’ and a clean energy index score of 83 percent. Facebook and Google also scored ‘A’ grades, with clean energy index scores of 67 and 56 percent respectively.
“Thanks to the leadership and advocacy of companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, and Switch, we are seeing the tech industry make major strides toward powering the internet with clean energy,” Gary Cook, Greenpeace’s senior IT analyst, said in a statement.
Sustainability is becoming increasingly important to large tech companies. Apple, Google, and Facebook have all joined the RE100, a group made up of some of the world’s largest businesses committed to 100 percent renewable energy.
While the report found many positives, Greenpeace highlighted emerging East Asian internet companies as an increasing cause for concern.
The lack of access to renewables “from monopoly utilities is a major obstacle toward creating a renewably powered internet in this region,” Greenpeace said in its report.
“Without key policy changes, the rapid growth of the internet in East Asia will likely be powered by coal and other dirty sources of electricity,” it added. The north and southeast Asian region was the world’s biggest emitter of CO2, Greenpeace said.
“We must see East Asian internet companies exhibiting the will to commit to 100 percent renewable energy, particularly as they expand to markets around the world,” Jude Lee, Greenpeace East Asia senior climate and energy campaigner, said.
“Leading IT companies in the United States have already shown that the majority of the industry recognizes that clean power is both good for the environment and good for business,” Lee added. “East Asian companies must step up to embrace that reality as well.”