Apple, Facebook, Google and Switch Supernap top Greenpeace’s greenest internet players rank
Organisation alerts for lack of transparency in data centres energy demand and electricity supply which “remains a significant threat to the sector’s long-term sustainability”.
Internet giants Apple, Facebook and Google, and colocation provider Switch scored the highest in Greenpeace’s 2017 green IT report.
In fact, Switch was the only IT company in the world to achieve a rating of 100% in the Clean Energy Index obtaining an A grade for energy transparency, renewable energy commitment and siting policy, energy efficiency and mitigation, renewable procurement and advocacy.
Apple obtained an A grade with a score of 83% followed by Facebook and Google with 67% and 56% respectively, also A graders.
The IT sector globally accounts today for nearly 7% of worldwide electricity consumption.
In the colocation space, Rackspace has been ranked as runner-up to Switch with a clean energy index of 29%, however, the company only obtained a final grade of C due to low results for energy transparency, renewable procurement and advocacy.
In terms of final grade, with a B, Greenpeace found Akamai and Equinix to be the real runner ups to Switch. The companies obtained a clean energy index of 16% and 20% respectively, but performed better than Rackspace in the other segments.
The two colos were followed by Digital Realty with a final grade of C. Acer, Asus, Chunghwa Telecom, FarEasTone and Taiwan Mobile were scored with D.
DuPont Fabros Technology, KT, LG CNS and LJ U+, SK and SK Telecom were last with a final grade F.
As for Switch, Greenpeace highlights in the report that the company hosts significant pieces of digital real estate for several well-known online brands and operates some of the largest data centres in the world.
With facilities in the Grand Rapids (Michigan), Las Vegas (Nevada) and Reno (Nevada), Switch uses 100% clean energy to supply its data centres.
For its Michigan hub, Switch has announced it is negotiating 100% renewable energy supply with Consumers Energy.
In Nevada, the operator has signed two contracts for a total of 180MW of renewable energy capacity.
Greenpeace says in the report: “Given its rapid growth plans, Switch will have to remain extremely aggressive in purchasing additional renewables to maintain 100% renewables for its Nevada customers.”
The US Department of Energy estimates that in 2015, data centres alone consumed more than 2 percent of all energy in the country.
Adam Kramer, Switch Executive Vice President for Strategy at Switch, said: “The reason Switch was able to achieve this historic recognition is because of the guiding vision of Founder and CEO Rob Roy to move Switch to 100% renewable energy and complete sustainability.
“Rob is a technology futurist who sees not where the industry is, but where it needs to go, leading to his personally designing more than 260 patent and patent pending claims that give Switch its unparalleled energy-efficiency.”
Can big IT players teach colos a lesson?
Overall, big IT and internet companies such as Google, Oracle, Salesforce, performed better than colocation companies with less Fs and more As.
Apple, Facebook and Google topped the chart, all with As with Apple winning over the two rivals.
Adobe, Microsoft and Salesforce follow with a B grade, and a clean energy index of 23%, 32% and 43% respectively.
C-graders included Amazon (with 17% for in the clean energy index), HP (50%), IBM (29%) and Naver (2%).
Alibaba (24%), Oracle (8%) and Samsung (11%) received a grade of D while the only Fs went to Baidu (24%) and Tencent (24%).
Despite the overall better results when directly compared to those in the colocation category. Greenpeace alerted to the continued lack of transparency by many companies regarding their energy demand and the supply of electricity powering their data centres which “remains a significant threat to the sector’s long-term sustainability”.
In the report it reads: “The least transparent companies such as AWS, Tencent, LG CNS, and Baidu are also among the most dominant in their respective markets, making their lack of movement toward more transparency even more egregious.”