Greenpeace calls Apple the greenest tech company, dubs data centres ‘factories of the digital age’

Greenpeace has labelled Apple as the greenest tech company for the third year running now. With an overall clean energy index of 83 percent, Apple is far ahead of second place Facebook (at 67 percent) and Google (at 50 percent).

Microsoft managed a B grade and index of 32 percent, while the likes of Amazon, HP and IBM got a C grade and an index of 17 percent, 50 percent and 29 percent respectively. The worst offenders included Baidu, Tencent and LG, with the latter earning an index of 2 percent and the remainder an index of 24 percent each.

Greenpeace rates companies on various factors including energy transparency, renewable energy commitment, energy efficiency, advocacy and more. Apple, Facebook and Google managed to score an A grade in at least 4 out of 5 categories.

The report notes that Apple and Google “continue to lead the sector in matching their growth with an equivalent or larger supply of renewable energy”. The report also adds that the two companies have done a fair bit of work in pushing governments and other IT vendors to use renewable energy.

Interestingly, the report points out that video streaming accounted for 63 percent of global internet traffic, and that the figure would hit 80 percent by 2020. Given this expected increase in traffic and the increasing need for data centres, Greenpeace is worried that just the fact that data centres have to be built, which will result in the consumption of fossil fuels, will be harmful overall.

It’s also pushing for greater transparency from companies with regards to their energy consumption needs and the sources of said energy. Amazon Web Services in particular was called out for its lack of transparency.

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South Korea is also in dire need of “advocacy for renewable energy”, says the report. Almost all the energy in the country comes from fossil fuels, after all. This is reflected in the report, where South Korean companies like LG and Samsung have among the worst ratings in the list.

Greenpeace claims that the IT sector alone accounts for over 7 percent of global electricity consumption, going so far as to call data centres the “factories of the digital age”.