Twitter and Amazon have been criticised by a Greenpeace report on “clean clicking”. With only 21% of the company’s energy categorised as clean, the majority of Twitter’s power comes from natural gas, coal and nuclear power. The social media platform was rated with the lowest scores in energy transparency, efficiency and advocacy of renewable energy.
The “dirty cloud” of Amazon Web Services was also harshly criticised:
Amazon Web Services (AWS), which provides the infrastructure for a significant part of the internet, remains among the dirtiest and least transparent companies in the sector, far behind its major competitors, with zero reporting of its energy or environmental footprint to any source or stakeholder. Twitter lags in many of the same areas.
The low prices and reliability of AWS has made it the most popular web hosting service for many websites, including Spotify, Tumblr and Netflix.
Apple, Google and Facebook were praised for their “commitment to green internet”. The “most improved company” title went to Apple for having switched entirely to renewable energy since the last Greenpeace report.
Meanwhile Facebook recently made the largest purchase of wind turbines in history. Gmail and YouTube users can also rest assured that emails and videos are powered predominantly by wind energy. As a solution to the expensive process of cooling servers, Google is also using seawater to keep its servers in Finland cool.
The Greenpeace Clicking Clean scorecard. © Greenpeace
Feature image: Bird with mobile phone cartoon vector via Sutterstock. Copyright: Samuel Chesterman