Greenpeace has lashed out at some of the world's largest technology firms over their datacentre practices.
The environment group said in its Dirty Data Report (PDF) that companies running large-scale cloud services are neglecting to adopt green energy practices and policies at the datacentres.
Greenpeace pointed to companies such as Facebook, Apple and Google as making poor choices in selecting green energy sources for their datacentres.
"Across the board, IT companies have failed to commit to clean energy in the same way they embrace energy efficiency, which is holding the sector back from being truly green," Greenpeace said in the report.
By failing to consider alternative energy sources when building facilities, the group argues that many vendors drive up their carbon footprints and further damage the environment.
Among Greenpeace's biggest complaints is the locations in which many technology companies build their datacentre facilities. In particular, the group singled out Apple, Google and Facebook for their choices of venue.
All three firms have established datacentres in North Carolina, a region that Greenpeace has labelled as the 'Dirty Data Triangle.' The area is particularly reliant on coal for generating electricity.
The report said that North Carolina, along with utility company Duke Energy, used tax breaks and lower power costs to convince companies to move energy-hungry datacentres into the region.
"These mega datacentres, which will draw from some of the dirtiest generation mixes in the US, highlights the sway of low-cost energy, misplaced tax incentives, and a corresponding lack of commitment to clean energy."
A spokesperson for Duke Energy declined to comment on the report when contacted by V3.co.uk. The North Carolina Department of Commerce was unable to provide comment at the time of publication.
A Google spokesperson told V3.co.uk said that the company welcomed scrutiny from Greenpeace.
"We've committed to being a carbon neutral company, so we're always looking for innovative ways to minimise our environmental impact," the spokesperson said.
"We've reduced our energy consumption by over 50 per cent by building some of the most efficient datacentres in the world, and we're pursuing innovative ways to power our operations with renewable energy."
A Facebook spokesperson provided V3.co.uk with a copy of a letter the company sent to Greenpeace following a meeting about the report. In the letter, Facebook said that it would adopt a number of the group's recommendations for improving its environmental policies.
"We are also committed to operating our business in a way that minimises our environmental impact while ensuring the long-term sustainability of our company," wrote Facebook vice president of technical operations Jonathan Heiliger.
"Toward that goal, we have begun to fundamentally rethink how we consume energy, namely the power required to run our datacentres."
Apple declined to comment on the Greenpeace report.
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