A new report unveiled today by Greenpeace at the Green:Net conference in San Francisco has looked at how ten of the internet’s most recognisable brands have adapted to the use of clean power for their web services, and found most of them failing dismally.
The 10 companies – Twitter, Akamai, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, HP, IBM, Microsoft and Yahoo – were each graded on how well they performed in transparency, infrastructure siting and mitigation.
Twitter’s score? Straight ‘F’s for everything.
Here’s the report card:
Twitter’s low marks were given primarily because the company has a “radio silence” on information about its data centers. Twitter is also (gasp) adding even more dirty power as it expands.
“This veil of secrecy makes it nearly impossible to measure the actual benefits of cloud technologies or understand the extent to which IT’s growing need for electricity is increasing the use of dirty energy.”
Yikes. To be fair, nobody scored particularly well. As you can see from the card the best grade achieved was by Akamai who picked up a ‘B’ for transparency.
Greenpeace found that many of the companies are still relying on coal for between 50 to 80 per cent of their energy, and reports that data centers now consume more than three per cent of all electricity in the US, and approximately two per cent worldwide. As more people connect to and use the internet these numbers are expected to rise accordingly.