Technology 3 min read

Microsoft, Apple and other Tech Giants Compete to Go Green

Fernando Madeira |

Fernando Madeira |

As the data Cloud grows, so do the energy-thirsty data centers that support its ocean of digital information. Trendsetting companies are going green to address concerns over how these centers are powered.

Microsoft recently announced it would step-up its efforts towards going green completely. It starts by powering its data centers with cleaner energy. By 2018, the company claims that it will depend on 50% renewable energy from wind, solar and hydroelectric sources. Data centers will be their largest energy consuming facilities over the next five years. While Microsoft uses 44% renewable energy today, it seeks to surpass 50% on its way to 60% renewable energy use at the beginning of the next decade. 

Data centers, in particular, will be the company’s largest energy consuming facilities over the next five years, and while Microsoft uses 44% renewable energy today, it seeks to surpass 50% on its way to 60% renewable energy use at the beginning of the next decade. 

How Else is Microsoft Going Green?

Microsoft now actively tracks and reduces emissions. They claim this contributes to a 0% carbon emissions rating from their data centers.

While this doesn’t mean that its data centers are powered entirely by renewable energy, Microsoft has committed to publishing annual energy reports in an effort for greater transparency.

Green Apple

Last year, Apple announced it had joined the RE100 Initiative, an organization promoting companies that have committed to using 100% renewable energy.

In 2012, the Cupertino tech colossus appeared among the industry’s most polluting entities according to reports by Greenpeace.

Three years later, the Apple brand ranked first among the most environmentally friendly companies.

Apple is Going Green with Huge Solar Investments

Apple has invested $850 million dollars in a solar farm near San Francisco, but the renewable energy-generating complex in California is now just one of many Apple power plants worldwide.

The tech company has also developed two projects in China that combined, produce over 200 megawatts of clean energy.

Additionally, the company even provides 20 megawatts of power to the Nevada Power Company‘s service area.

Think that’s impressive? They now also provide 50 megawatts to the Salt River Project in Arizona.

As a result, clean energy investments allow the company to meet the energy needs of its offices, data centers, and generally operations in a cost-effective, sustainable way.

“Aside from Their commitment for the environment, these Silicon Valley giants understand that transitioninG to more sustainable Energy Would also reduce their operational costs.”

Apple and Microsoft are trendsetters with a head start, but companies like Amazon and Google are also going green.

Renewable energy practices draw an ever forward-thinking consumer to their businesses, and it’s worth noting that reducing their carbon footprint has never represented an obstacle to their success.

Apple’s power providing projects are an excellent example of how going green allows a tech firm to diversify. Aside from business success and concern for the environment, these Silicon Valley giants understand that transitioning from electricity generated from fossil fuels to more sustainable proprietary methods also reduces their operational costs.

All four of these companies have come together to support the Clean Power Energy Plan, led by the Obama administration. Based on CO2 measurements in 2005, the goal of this plan is to decrease CO2 emissions by 32% before 2030.

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Zayan Guedim

Trilingual poet, investigative journalist, and novelist. Zed loves tackling the big existential questions and all-things quantum.

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