Even though Apple has been making overt and expensive gestures to recognize the importance of eco-friendliness, activist organization Greenpeace still says they fall short of the mark. Citing Apple as one of the modern Internet companies that falls considerably short of the mark (along with other giants such as Amazon and Microsoft), Greenpeace is particularly focused on power sources for Apple’s data center in North Carolina. The facility relies on coal and nuclear-based power as opposed to the more “green” alternatives such as solar or hydrogen-based power. This got Apple an F for “infrastructure siting”.
It’s an interesting and perhaps unnecessarily harsh verdict from Greenpeace when you consider the larger context; Apple is already building a solar array (capable of 42 million kWh of solar power per year) to power their data center, and this positions them as the force behind the U.S.A.’s largest end user–owned, onsite solar array. Apple has also been quick to respond to criticisms from Greenpeace in the past over the “dirty” quality of iPod batteries as well as packaging and other concerns. While one must keep a close watch on corporations who try to push the limits where their ecological responsibilities begin, Apple is behaving very much the way a corporation should when they take their ecological conscience seriously.