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Apple hits back over Greenpeace’s dirty data centre claims
Cupertino company goes on the offensive over eco charity’s coal-fired allegations
Apple has slammed Greenpeace after a report by the environmental organisation exaggerated the company’s data centre emissions.
The iPhone maker disclosed sensitive information about energy consumption at its iCloud data centre for the first time, following a campaign by ecological charity.
The report by Greenpeace rated 14 cloud computing companies and ranked Apple, Amazon and Microsoft as the worst, relying on coal to power their data centres.
“Apple right now is falling behind companies like Google and Facebook, who are taking a leadership role on this issue,” Greenpeace spokesman Dave Pomerantz told the Wall Street Journal. “It’s a shame that a company that built its reputation on thinking differently is now behind the curve.”
However, Apple said that its new data centre, which provide services to its iPhone and iPad users, would be one of the cleanest ever, in terms of pollution and that the Greenpeace report has over-estimated energy demand from its data centres, with consumption only a fifth of what Greenpeace reported.
"Our data centre in North Carolina will draw about 20 megawatts at full capacity, and we are on track to supply more than 60 per cent of that power on-site from renewable sources including a solar farm and fuel cell installation which will each be the largest of their kind in the country," said spokeswoman Kristin Huguet in a statement. "We believe this industry-leading project will make Maiden the greenest data centre ever built, and it will be joined next year by our new facility in Oregon running on 100 per cent renewable energy."
Greenpeace has been campaigning over the last few years to bring attention to IT companies that use coal and nuclear power to run their data centres.
It said companies like Google, Yahoo and Facebook are beginning to lead the sector down a clean energy pathway through innovations in energy efficiency, prioritising renewable energy access when siting their data centres, and demanding better energy options from utilities and government decision-makers.