Environment
9:06 am
Thu April 19, 2012

Greenpeace protests cloud servers at Amazon in Seattle

Calling attention to its recent study showing server farms, the basis for cloud computing, consume as much electricity as small cities, Greenpeace this morning put up a sign on Amazon's new building in Seattle:

"How green is your cloud?"

Amazon, Apple and Microsoft continue to rapidly add server capacity, but according to Greenpeace, don't seem to care where their electricity comes from.

All three rely heavily on coal, which Greenpeace calls a dirty and polluting source of power. On Greenpeace's report card, Amazon gets three F's and a D. Apple gets three D's and an F.

"When people around the world share their music or photos on the cloud, they want to know that the cloud is powered by clean, safe energy," said Gary Cook, Greenpeace International senior policy analyst. "Yet highly innovative and profitable companies like Apple, Amazon and Microsoft are building data centers powered by coal, and acting like their customers won't know or won't care. They're wrong."