Greenpeace slams AWS and Twitter for lacklustre green energy policies

Greenpeace has called out Amazon Web Services [AWS] for failing to adopt green technology in its data centres despite the fact that most of its major competitors have moved to do so.

Related: Cloud adoption helps UK councils hit green targets

The environmental campaigners produced a report that examined the electrical choices of 19 leading Internet companies including Apple, Facebook and Google, finding that just five have achieved 100 per cent renewable energy.

Apple, which was once in Greenpeace’s bad books over green energy, was the first company to commit to a 100 per cent renewable energy goal with Facebook and Google praised for lobbying energy companies to offer renewable options for corporations buying large amounts of electricity.

The reason that AWS comes in for criticism is due to the fact that it has been stunting green energy growth in Oregon and its growth in the Virginia region has led to an increase in coal and gas power plants in the state.

"By continuing to buy dirty energy, Amazon Web Services not only can’t seem to keep up with Apple, but is dragging much of the internet down with it,” said Gary Cook, senior IT analyst at Greenpeace.

AWS hit back at the criticism by telling Cloud Pro that Greenpeace’s report casts "false assumptions on AWS operations and inaccurate data on AWS energy consumption."

"We work hard...to offer AWS Cloud services in an environmentally friendly way in all of our regions," a spokesperson told Cloud Pro. "AWS operates highly efficient and highly utilised data centres across 10 different Regions globally, two of which [Oregon and GovCloud] use 100 per cent carbon-free power."

Twitter is another company that has been criticised and Greenpeace stated that it “remains at the bottom of the industry for its lack of transparency, having disclosed essentially no information about the company’s energy footprint.”

Related: Rackspace breaks ground on UK green data centre

Greenpeace commended Apple, Box, Facebook, Google, Rackspace and Salesforce for committing to a goal of powering data centres with 100 per cent renewable energy and it is a trend that the organisation wants all other major Internet companies to follow.