Someday, somehow...Amazon has been under pressure for a while to get its act together when it comes to renewable energy (just last week we wrote about how shopping on Amazon is powered by coal). Even Apple, who was considered a laggard a few years ago, is now a leader with 100% renewable energy and many green practices that made Greenpeace praise the fruit company (though much progress remains to be made).
Here is Greenpeace's ranking of internet companies when it comes to their use of renewable energy:
As you can see, Amazon isn't doing too well so far, with a majority of "F" grades:
"AWS has dropped further and further behind its competitors in building an internet that runs on renewable sources of energy, estimated at only 15%, and is the least transparent of any company we evaluated," wrote Greenpeace.
Good, but...Seems like the pressure got to them, because today they released a statement saying that Amazon Web Services (AWS), its huge cloud infrastructure, now has "a long-term commitment to achieve 100% renewable energy usage for our global infrastructure footprint."
This is certainly good, but there's no timeframe and no extra transparency so that we can known where they are now, and track their progress in the future. I think that Amazon.com should do these things as soon as possible if it wants to be taken seriously in that area. I think we need to encourage Amazon when it takes steps in the right direction, but it certainly doesn't get a free pass just for announcing something; the proof will be in the pudding, and I look forward to hearing about actual concrete steps (building solar farms, etc).
Greenpeace seems to agree. In statement, they write: “However, Amazon’s customers will need more information to be sure that AWS means business about renewable energy. AWS should offer a plan for how it will implement its ambitious new commitment across its footprint. Apple, Facebook and Google, three of Amazon’s peers and rivals, all have laid out road maps that explain how they intend to achieve their goals of procuring 100% renewable energy.”
It would also be great if Amazon went the whole nine yard and committed to 100% renewable energy not only for its internet infrastructure, but also for its warehouses and other operations.