Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) received a failing grade in the new energy report released by Greenpeace, the largest non-government direct action environmental organization worldwide.
Scientific community warning
Greenpeace emphasized that the scientific community is warning against our continued reliance on energy technologies in the past, which could put our future in grave danger. The environmental organization said our planet – the foundation of our offline world – is headed for trouble due to climate change and our reliance to dirty sources of energy.
“We need to shift at internet-like speed to a world powered by renewable sources of energy, disrupting the status quo to which electric utilities and other fossil fuel providers are desperately clinging,” according to Greenpeace.
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Greenpeace examines 19 global IT companies
The environmental organization expanded its report and examined a total of 19 global IT companies that are leading the industry towards a shift to the cloud including Amazon.com, Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY), Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), salesforce.com, inc. (NYSE:CRM) among others.
According to Greenpeace, 300 data centers are now included in its survey, up from 80 data centers in the previous edition of its report. The environmental organization examined how these companies pursue opportunities to play a meaningful role in driving renewable energy deployment to meet the energy needs of the internet.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) remains dirtiest energy grid
Greenpeace found that the Amazon Web Services of the e-commerce giant is still one of the dirtiest energy grids around, and one of the least transparent in the technology industry. The environmental organization said Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) does not report its energy or environmental footprint to any source or stakeholder and it remains far behind its competitors.
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) AWS received an F grade in terms of transparency. Greenpeace said, “AWS still fails to make public even the most basic details on its energy footprint or its source of electricity, beyond claiming that its Oregon data centers are carbon free.” The company also received an F rating in renewable energy commitment & sitting policy and renewable energy deployment and advocacy. It has a D rating for energy efficiency and mitigation.
According to Greenpeace, AWS continues to expand its global infrastructure rapidly without any apparent regard to environmental impact or access to renewable energy. The AWS US-East availability zone in Northern Virginia, which is the largest with 10 data centers and 60% of EC2 servers are powered by only 2% renewable energy.
“While AWS has been willing to invest in the capacity to build its own 50-100 MW electricity substations in order to maintain the grid’s ability to meet the scale of its energy demand, it has failed to register a single investment or purchase of renewable energy,” said Greenpeace.
Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) also received a failing grade. According to Greenpeace, the popular microblogging site remains at the bottom of the industry when it comes to energy transparency as it does not disclose any information regarding its energy footprint.
Greenpeace said Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), which does not yet own any data center of its own, falls behind salesforce.com, inc. (NYSE:CRM) and Box, which demonstrated that it is possible for those leasing data center space to commit to a long-term goal of 100% renewable energy. It received an F grade for transparency, energy efficiency mitigation, and renewable energy deployment and advocacy and D rating for renewable energy commitment and sitting policy.
“Twitter’s lack of transparency makes it impossible to know what, if any, notable efficiency measures the company employs,” according to Greenpeace.