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The company's new data center in North Carolina, scheduled to open this spring, will triple its annual consumption of electricity

Discussion: Greenpeace recently issued its report, “How Dirty Is Your Data? A Look at the Energy Choices That Power Cloud Computing” (PDF).  Relying on public information, the report ranks Apple as the least ethical among several tech giants for transparency, mitigation strategy, and infrastructure siting.  Apple’s low rating is mostly due to investing in a North Carolina facility that will triple its annual electricity consumption, 61 percent of which is powered by coal.  But probably the most compelling numbers in this report cite overall electricity demands of the world wide web: if the Internet alone was a country, it would rank 5th overall in energy consumption.  That’s a lot of dirty data.


Date: April 21, 2011


Questions for discussion:

  • Is it inevitable that the number one tech company is going to have dirty data centers or does Apple need to do a better job of using cleaner electricity to power its soaring profits and sales?
  • Do infrastructure siting decisions drive consumers to one tech company over another?

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