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Oracle, eBay and Amazon all score low on Greenpeace's Internet pollution report

Internet companies might not seem like major contributors to pollution, but Greenpeace is not letting them have a free ride, in a new report showing how some companies are much cleaner than others when it comes to energy.

For those that don’t know, most large scale Internet companies invest heavily in data centers. These data centers run on electricity 24/7, meaning companies like Google, Oracle and Amazon are indirectly pushing the rate of pollution.

Some companies went fully green, including Apple who received top marks in Greenpeace’s report, but others are still transitioning or worse; have not made any efforts to acquire clean energy.


Amazon, Oracle, eBay and HP are bottom of the list when it comes to clean energy, scoring between 10 and 25 per cent. eBay is by far the worst, using 51 per cent natural gas, 29 per cent coal and nine per cent nuclear, although it is unclear if eBay knows where its energy comes from to power servers.

Greenpeace is working off murky information when it comes to Amazon, considering it does not list its energy sources. Amazon has committed to building its own data centers and working with companies like SolarCity and Tesla Energy, but the numbers do not look too appealing.

Microsoft, Facebook and Google have all shown positive numbers between 39 and 49 per cent clean energy, although it does not come near Apple’s 100 per cent clean energy commitment (opens in new tab).

Google and Facebook are both committed to running data centers on clean energy within the next five years. Yahoo is already at 73 per cent and looks to be the second company to reach the 100 per cent green energy goal.

Lets hope this Greenpeace report brings more questions as to the ways Internet companies receive energy, instead of letting them get a free pass when it comes to the environment.

David has been a technology journalist for over six years, covering a wide range of sectors. He currently researches apps, app sectors and app markets for Business of Apps, and has written for ITProPortal, RTInsights, ReadWrite, and Digital Trends.