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Apple Must Use Clean Energy, Says Greenpeace

by Kathy Jones on  May 12, 2012 at 7:00 PM Environmental Health   - G J E 4
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Global computer maker Apple has been urged by Greenpeace India activists to use renewable energy to power its data centres worldwide instead of fossil fuels.
 Apple Must Use Clean Energy, Says Greenpeace
Apple Must Use Clean Energy, Says Greenpeace

As part of the worldwide protest against the multinational for burning tonnes of coal to run its data centres, local activists of the green organisation roped in its customers to ask Apple go for a cleaner cloud.

Similar protests are being staged at Apple stores (iCloud) in six countries across the world, including Austria, Brazil, China, Germany, South Africa and the US.

"We have put up a billboard in front of Apple's India head office at UB City here with 'Clean our Cloud' message to its chief executive and submitted petitions signed by thousands of its customers across the country to one of its officials," Greenpeace campaigner Mrinmoy Chattaraj told reporters here.

Global technology firms like Google, Facebook and Yahoo have taken measures to use renewable energy for their cloud computing at massive data centres worldwide.

Globally, over 200,000 people have signed Greenpeace's petition calling on Apple to commit to power its iCloud with clean energy and over 100,000people have viewed its 'Apple - introducing iCoal' video spoofing the company's iCloud.

Greenpeace recently evaluated 14 global IT firms based on key elements needed to build a clean data centre, including the energy supply chain ofabout 80 data centres associated with major brands.

"The report found that Google and Yahoo are showing commitment to clean energy while Apple, Amazon and Microsoft rely heavily on dirty, outdated coal and nuclear energy to deliver their digital services," Chattaraj pointed out.

Though Apple invested in solar energy to partly power its growing data centre at North Carolina in the US, it is yet to use similar energy in its chain of iCloud stores worldwide.

Apple claimed that its facility at Prineville in Oregon would be 100 percent renewable, but did not disclose how it would power its data centre there. Its plans, as disclosed by the utility, are that it will buy renewable energy credits, which may help its reputation but won't power the iCloud with more of clean energy.

"Apple should commit to greater transparency, follow the lead of Facebook, which has committed to power its data centres with renewable energy and seta policy to build future data centres in locations that have access to renewable energy," Chattaraj noted.

Apple can also use its market power to encourage utilities like Duke Energy, which will partly power its North Carolina data centre, to provide clean energy options and stop the use of mountaintop removal coal.

"We are also appealing to all IT firms with cloud services to be transparent about their energy usage and carbon footprint and share innovative solutions so that the sector can improve," the campaigner added.

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