A Greenpeace report outlines tech companies' energy footprints. Google, Facebook, and Apple focus on 100% renewable energy, while Amazon and Netflix lag, and Asian companies still depend on coal.
The internet and the IT industry combined account for 7 percent of the world's electricity, with a predicted rise to 12 percent before the year's over. Such an increase is because of global internet traffic growth.
The research profiles every one of the parties came to the online world, from service providers to streaming video platforms. What emerges is a fragmented scenario. On the one hand are internet giants like Apple, Google, and Facebook, which have committed to or have just reached 100 percent renewable energy for powering their data centers; then again, are platforms like Amazon and Netflix lagging. Also Asiatic giants, for example, Alibaba, Baidu, and Tencent powering their servers with coal.
The most virtuous companies
The footprint of one of the world's most energy-consuming industries is rather clear as are its future implications. In case larger-scaled companies switch to renewable energy to power their data centers, renewables demand will increase, while the utilization of fossil fuels will drop.
Netflix and the growth of video streaming
As Greenpeace reports, "video streaming accounted for 63 percent of global internet traffic in 2015, and is projected to reach about 80 percent by 2020, according to Cisco Network Traffic Forecast, 2016”.
Among the greatest video streaming platforms is Netflix, which is registering a steady growth globally. The organization "has one of the largest data footprints of the companies profiled, accounting for one-third of internet traffic in North America and contributing significantly to the worldwide data demand from video streaming," reads the report. The company announced in 2015 that: "It intended to fully offset its carbon footprint, but a closer examination reveals it is likely turning to carbon offsets or unbundled renewable energy credits, which do little to increase renewable energy investment”.
“Like Apple, Facebook, and Google, Netflix is one of the biggest drivers of the online world and has a critical say in how it is powered. Netflix must embrace the responsibility to make sure its growth is powered by renewables, not fossil fuels and it must show its leadership here,” added Cook.