By Leila Deen, Greenpeace International
Today we took the ‘How Clean is your Cloud’ challenge directly to Apple, Amazon and Microsoft, the three companies which need to switch from dirty coal to clean, renewable power. This challenge follows yesterday’s launch of our ‘How Clean is your Cloud’ report.
Greenpeace Luxembourg visited Amazon’s European headquarters, while Greenpeace Turkey visited Microsoft’s European headquarters in Istanbul. Greenpeace International’s team appeared at Apple’s European headquarters in Cork, Ireland.
We are calling on IT companies to change the way they source power for the rapidly expanding ‘cloud’ – basically where data is stored – which they are currently powering with a lot of coal and nukes.
The teams used a variety of methods to communicate to the companies that what happens in the cloud has a very real impact on the world we live in. At Microsoft activists were on the roof with cloud-shaped banners. In Luxembourg the message was carried 10 metres up on giant balloons to the roof of Amazon. In Ireland we had a special new ‘cloud machine’ that makes logos out of environmentally safe bubbles.
We are calling on these companies to think differently and use their innovative skills to make sure they power our cloud with renewables. We know they can do it, because Google and Yahoo are already leading the way.
Protests were received quite differently at the different offices. In Turkey, Microsoft’s security were aggressive towards our peaceful activists and at Apple a lot of the employees seemed open to our message and accepted our leaflets and our free mousemats which we made especially for them. In Turkey activists were detained but released without charge.