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Greenpeace upgrades Apple on ‘coal-free’ promise

Greenpeace International revisited their rankings of industry leaders in cloud computing to adjust Apple’s score, due in part to Apple’s promise to make its data centers “coal-free” by 2013 and its increasing ambition to power its growing iCloud through 100 percent renewable energy.

In a report released Thursday, the environmental organization upgraded Apple in three of four categories reflecting the company’s commitment to clean energy in its cloud computing facilities. Even with its upgrades, Apple remains near the bottom of the pack, which includes Microsoft, Google, Facebook, IBM, Oracle and others.

In May, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer announced plans for implementing renewable energy at the company’s three current data centers by 2013, and Apple’s new data center in Reno, Nevada, will have access to many renewable energy options, according to the Greenpeace report.

However, the Cupertino-based maker of the iPhone and iPad has not instituted an infrastructure siting policy, like that of Facebook, that would express a commitment to building data centers in areas with an established clean energy grid, said David Pomerantz, a spokesman for Greenpeace International.

Pomerantz also said Apple struggles in the category of transparency because it is “famously tight-lipped” about information about its practices. Beyond the company’s goals, Apple releases little detail on the specifics of its renewable energy practices, he said.

Nokia retains top spot on Greenpeace list

Nokia has retained the top spot in Greenpeace’s latest ranking of 17 consumer electronics companies over their environmental practices, while Philips and Apple made strides up the list.

Philips leaped to 4th place from 11th and Apple moved up to 10th place from 14th — best among the top 5 PC makers — in Greenpeace’s latest “Guide to Greener Electronics” report. Companies are ranked based on a number of criteria related to chemicals, e-waste and energy, and Greenpeace uses the report to help pressure companies to change.

Samsung moved up to second place from fourth, while Sony Ericcson dropped a spot to third. Sony rounded out the top five.

CES: “Green” envy on Day 2

Fuji EnviroMAX batteries

Several exhibitors took up the “green” theme at CES 2009 as the “Pre” party continued. Any chance Dell had to upstage Palm disappeared in a cloud of secrecy with the “Adamo” laptop it briefly presented, but gave no details about.

Fuji said its EnviroMAX alkaline batteries were made of more than 90 percent recycled materials, had no mercury, cadmium and were PVC free.

Singapore-based Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies said their “HydroPack” water-activated and portable power system HydroPak could provide 4 to 5 hours of 50 watt emergency power without pollution or noise.