This week Bloomberg caught an announcement from Apple that all of their data centers are now run on 100 percent renewable energy. Apple is at 75 percent for their corporate facilities worldwide — a remarkable increase from 35 percent in 2010.
Apple was targeted by Greenpeace last year, in a report that ranked the Silicon Valley giant 12th our of 14 large computer companies for use of clean energy to power data centers and cloud computing services. Apple received a “D” grade for energy transparency, efficiency, and renewables advocacy, and an “F” for infrastructure siting.
Apparently, that dismal assessment got the company’s attention:
We’ve already achieved 100 percent renewable energy at all of our data centers, at our facilities in Austin, Elk Grove, Cork, and Munich, and at our Infinite Loop campus in Cupertino. And for all of Apple’s corporate facilities worldwide, we’re at 75 percent, and we expect that number to grow as the amount of renewable energy available to us increases. We won’t stop working until we achieve 100 percent throughout Apple.
“Apple’s increased level of disclosure about its energy sources helps customers know that their iCloud will be powered by clean energy sources, not coal,” Gary Cook, an analyst at Greenpeace, wrote in a statement. According to Apple’s numbers, the company reduced its carbon emissions per dollar of revenue by 21.5 percent between 2008 and 2012 — though their overall carbon footprint still went up due to increased sales.
You can dig into Apple’s environmental self-reporting a bit more here.
Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s chief financial officer, said that a 100-acre solar array set up next to its largest data center, located in Maiden, North Carolina, came online this past December. The company says it’s generating 60 percent of the center’s power on site — through a combination of solar power and fuel cells that convert biogases to energy — and that the rest of the electricity is drawn from renewable sources. Another data center under construction in Prineville, Oregon, will run on a combination of wind, hydro, solar and geothermal power.