InfoShot: Which companies use 100% Renewable Energy?

As the role of IT – whether mobiles, IoT, wearables or any number of apps – expands, the amount of energy required to power our lives increases. Depending on the source, IT now consumes between 2% and 10% of the world’s energy – equivalent to the aviation industry.

But as IT’s footprint increases, a growing number of technology companies are turning to renewable energy. Power from hydro, solar, and wind-based sources is on the up – Germany recently reached an 87% renewable energy rate for a day in May – and as efficiency increases, green energy is becoming increasingly viable.

A new report from RE100 – a global initiative of 58 businesses committed to 100% renewable energy – has outlined how far along its member companies are in achieving their goals.

“The growth of cloud computing is behind the increasing electricity consumption of internet companies. The silver lining for climate change though, is that many of the world’s ICT giants have made 100% renewable power commitments and are seeking to install or access renewable power where they are building new research labs and data centers.”

According to the report, both Microsoft and SAP have achieved their goals of using 100% renewable energy. Adobe, Autodesk, Infosys and Salesforce all currently use at least 30% renewable power, with Autodesk and Infosys both looking to reach 100% by 2020.

Often bluster about renewable power is actually just the purchasing of Green credits, a growing number of companies are generating their own power. “Although many of these renewable energy pioneers say they don’t want to become power companies,” the RE100 report says, ”the lack of responsiveness from utilities in some regions has forced them to do exactly this.”

Google has targeted 100% renewable power by 2025. It hasn’t revealed its progress but is estimated to be around 35% of its current power usage. Last year the search giant invested in Africa’s largest wind farm and also has stakes in large solar farms. The company has also built its own solar plants.

Facebook isn’t part of the RE100 group but has targeted a 50% renewable energy rate by 2019. Amazon and Apple, both companies not part of RE100, have committed to reaching 100% renewable, with the latter having received a glowing report from a previously hostile Greenpeace.



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Dan Swinhoe

Dan is a journalist at CSO Online. Previously he was Senior Staff Writer at IDG Connect.

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