Report: Internet Carbon Footprint Immense

February 6th, 2013 BY VeganVerve | 1 Comment

Everyone knows that the internet is a massively used forum for information and interaction. Millions, perhaps billions, of people log on to the internet daily worldwide. Immense companies have grown through the internet, including Facebook, Apple, Yahoo and many others. These companies, due to their popularity and growth, have enormous data centers.

These data centers, according to a new Greenpeace report, are contributing greatly to worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. The majority of the energy massive internet companies use, says Greenpeace, is acquired through coal. Greenpeace determined this by comparing fuel use information with thezip codes where these companies set up their data centers.

The so-called data “cloud” is being targeted by Greenpeace in order to get the companies to be more environmentally friendly in their business approaches. Greenpeace stated: “The last thing we need is for more cloud infrastructure to be built in places where it increases demand for dirty coal-fired power.” According to Greenpeace, major users of coal include: Google Inc., Yahoo Inc., Facebook, Microsoft Corp. and Apple.

Many of these companies argue that they are trying to reduce their carbon footprints. Google says it purchases carbon offsets and Yahoo will be attaining hydroelectric energy for their Buffalo facility.

Greenpeace has urged these companies to support and be a part of green energy, especially considering the immensity of the internet footprint. According to Greenpeace, all global telecommunications and data centers when combined would equate to the fifth largest energy user in the world. That ranking would only be behind the United States, China, Russia and Japan.

  1. Matt

    That is amazing. I don’t think that most people realize both how much power it takes to run their favorite websites but also how much of that power is obtained through the most environmentally damaging ways.

  2. What do you have to say?