Greenpeace activists have scaled buildings at Apple’s Irish headquarters in Cork, placing banners and signs with the message “Clean Our Cloud” as the environmental agency increases pressure on the company to reduce its reliance on coal and nuclear-powered datacenters for its iCloud service.
Two activists climbed the Apple Distribution International building at Holyhill in Cork at around 7am, setting up a base on the slanted roof of one of Apple’s glass-fronted buildings. Gardai (Irish police) and the fire service were called to the scene whilst the protesters handed out leaflets to Apple employees.
The protestors came down of their own accord after around an hour:
The leaflets urge Apple employees to assist Greenpeace in forcing the company to adopt greener power for its datacenters, spelling out ways that it can “lead a clean cloud revolution”:
According to one of the activists, Apple employees were in support of its protests:
— Iris Cheng (@iris_cheng) April 18, 2012
Yesterday, Greenpeace released a report condemning Apple’s iCloud servers, saying that they weren’t environmentally friendly, suggesting that its server farms were reliant on coal power.
Greenpeace’s Gary Cook wrote:
“The Apple cloud is heavily powered by dirty energy, particularly coal and coal that is coming from mountain-top removal in Appalachia”
It is certainly not what you would expect from a company like Apple that challenged us to think differently. Here they bought into energy that is old industry and technology.”
However, Apple responded quickly to the report, stating that the agency had overestimated its power use by a factor of five:
“Our data centre in North Carolina will draw about 20 megawatts at full capacity.
We believe this industry-leading project will make Maiden the greenest data centre ever built.”