Apple named world's greenest tech company

Its planned Galway data centre would run 100% on renewables, as is standard practice for the company now...

Greenpeace has declared Apple to be the most environmentally-friendly tech company in the world in its latest Clicking Clean report.

It secured the top spot for the third year on the bounce, fending off strong competition from Facebook and Google, who also scored 'A' grades.

Apple came out with a clean energy index score of 83%, compared to Facebook's 67% and Google's 56%.

Greenpeace's index measures the amount of energy that firms use from renewable sources and hydroelectric power.

On top of this, it assesses the company's transparency when it comes to energy sourcing and planning and the clean energy advocacy work they put in.

With data centre energy currently using roughly 7% of the world's electricity, the iPhone maker has been at the forefront of ensuring that its facilities are running completely on renewables.

The report stated:

“We actually are seeing a significant increase in the prioritisation of renewables among some of the largest internet companies.

"We have witnessed leaders such as Google, Apple, Facebook, eBay, and now Switch using their influence to push vendors, utilities, and governments to create access to renewable energy where previously there was none.”

Greenpeace had previously publicly slammed the likes of Apple, Amazon and Facebook for the use of “dirty coal” at their data centres, but give a more approving, optimistic tone in the latest report:

“The past year has seen a significant jump as fifteen data centre operators and major internet companies have embraced the importance of powering their rapidly growing operations with renewable energy.

"“The race to build a renewably powered internet started with digital platform leaders such as Facebook, Apple, and Google who first made 100% renewable commitments four years ago and have now been joined by nearly 20 internet companies, including global cloud and colocation companies who had previously been lagging far behind.”

Conversely, Greenpeace singled out East Asian internet companies as a cause for concern.

Apple in Athenry

In December, Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed that the company ran its "business on 100% renewable energy".

Google is aiming to hit that target this year.

Apple's planned – and much-delayed – €850m data centre in Athenry, Co Galway, is set to follow that totally clean model if it gets the go-ahead.

The company has also agreed to a number of conditions, committing to planting hundreds of acres of deciduous trees to offset the environmental impact of the construction and establishing a €1m fund for ocean energy testing in Galway.

One of the people objecting to the proposals, a Wicklow landowner, had raised concerns about the effect on the forestry at the Coillte-owned lands at Derrydonnell.

Peter Feeney, a Fine Gael councillor and 'Athenry for Apple' member, told Newstalk Breakfast last November:

"Ironically, there'll be more trees and better quality trees when Apple is finished than when they started, because it is a cutaway forest – effectively more than half of the 500 acres is cut away at this stage."