Greenpeace flew a “thermal airship” — which to the untrained eye looks a lot like a blimp — over Silicon Valley’s Highway 101 on Thursday morning to call attention to tech companies that are and are not committing to power their online services exclusively through renewable energy.
The publicity stunt was the follow-up act to a report the environmental advocacy organization released yesterday, available here, that praised Apple, Facebook and Google for agreeing to use “100 percent renewable energy to power their data centers.”
On the flip side, it called out companies like Amazon and Twitter, noting they host and rent data capacity, respectively, in facilities where less than a quarter of the energy is renewable. The report also pointed out that Netflix, Pinterest, Spotify and Vine host their offerings through Amazon Web Services, linking their products to polluting sources of energy.
Greenpeace added that Amazon was the least transparent company it evaluated — which will come as no surprise to reporters tasked with covering the retail giant.
Companies including eBay, Microsoft, IBM and Equinix landed in the report’s “Middle of the Road” category for “taking steps toward a green Internet, but not leading the way.”
One side of the airship heralded Apple, Facebook and Google for “Building the Green Internet,” while the other side carried the logos of Amazon, Twitter, Netflix and Pinterest and asked: “Who’s Next to Go Green?”
“Apple, Facebook and Google are racing each other to build a greener online world, and that’s a race that we all win,” Greenpeace’s Gary Cook said in a statement. “Amazon, Twitter, Pinterest and Netflix can still join the vanguard of the green internet and avoid permanently chaining their fast-growing services to dirty energy.”