Eco Activism: Greenpeace Slashes iCloud with the Poorest of Grades
Apple finds itself stranded yet again in another vortex of criticism – this time as a consequence of its decision to halt surrendering its merchandise for examination under the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (abbreviated EPEAT) certification drive. The disparagement rises in the wake of the company falling short of its pledge to support and implement cleaner computing processes, particularly in the cloud domain.
Apple as a corporation has been growing by leaps and bounds, leading product innovation like no other. However, during the same time frame, the technological giant has lagged behind many a miles in terms of fulfilling its environmental obligation.
Greenpeace, on the most proactive environment protection groups, publically bashed Apple for with-drawing from the EPEAT. The group further stated that Apple has been sluggish to fulfil its promise pertinent to fuelling its data centres with green renewable energy sources and putting an end to power generation from coal reserves.
Greenpeace has also brought to the table A Clean Energy Road Map for Apple – the organization’s latest analytical report that “updates the evaluation of Apple to account for its recent clean energy announcements, and outlines the additional steps Apple should take to fulfil its laudable ambition to set a new bar with a ‘coal-free’ and 100% renewably-powered iCloud”.
The report suggests that Apple still has to go a long way to live up to its word of operating the North Carolina data-centre solely on renewable energy. Same goes for the plan to render its major data centres free of coal based fuel by the end of the year 2013.
Subtle improvement by Apple has been documented in the report – a mere unit step transition from D to C in Energy Efficiency category, as well as that in Infrastructure Siting category, from an F to a D. Sadly, no up-gradation has been observed in the Energy Transparency category; Apple still stands shy at a disgruntling D.
Apple’s decision to dump the EPEAT has been driven by the company’s preference of compelling design over greener parameters like reusability and ease of disassembly. Senior policy analyst at Greenpeace, Gary Cook, is of the view that apple’s prioritization of design over recyclability will prove to be disastrous for the collective global effort to vouchsafe a greener environment.
Greenpeace is equally apprehensive about the deficiency of renewable energy’s clear-cut description at Apple’s end. This narrows down to the harsh reality that even today, Apple is the primary buyer of coal-derived power.
The report is bound to serve as an eye-opener for the advocates of a greener planet – Apple may claim to be a coal-free venture on paper but the truth is quite (bitter and) contradictory. It’s about time that the hefty iConsumer-base convinces the billion dollar venture to reconsider its stance on compromising reusability for design.
By Humayun Shahid