Companies like Apple provide the cloud computing that has become a birthright in the digital age. But our insatiable demand for data has a steep environmental price tag.
If the Internet were a country, it would be the fifth biggest consumer of electricity in the world, according to Greenpeace.
That’s not just the electricity you’re using in your office or home. It’s the juice being slurped up by energy-hogging data centers operated by “cloud companies,” which store and provide data over an Internet computer network.
In the case of Apple and other tech companies, the energy in question is provided by burning coal. And Greenpeace isn’t happy about it. With its "How Dirty is Your Data?" report released just in time for Earth Day, the crusading environmental organization looks at the carbon footprint of the top 10 global cloud companies: Akamai, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Twitter, and Yahoo!