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Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is now claiming that it runs its data centers on 100 percent renewable energy, an update to its environmental policies on the company website said. Its data centers now operate on a combination of solar, wind, or geothermal sources, instead of traditional coal or other fossil fuels.
The data centers house the server computers that store music files, applications, and other content from services such as iTunes, iMessage and iCloud, and as a result draw a fair amount of power. Apple caught the attention of Greenpeace, the environmentally-based non-profit that launched a report called “How Clean Is Your Cloud?” and singled out the Cupertino-based iPhone maker for relying on coal power for its data centers and cloud servers. Over the four categories that the report tracked, Apple received nothing higher than a D rating — although that certainly would not be the case now.
Apple’s largest data center in Maiden, North Carolina, now boasts a 100-acre solar farm that became fully operational in December, and has met Apple’s goal of producing 60 percent of the power needed at the center. Apple’s latest data center construction project in Oregon will also use local renewable sources.
The overhaul of its data centers is a strong first step in Apple’s goal to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels. Before passing away, former CEO Steve Jobs was working on plans for a new headquarters campus that, at least in theory, would be entirely energy self-sufficient. In its recent report, Apple said that its corporate headquarters worldwide source 75 percent of the energy needed from renewable sources, up from 35 percent only two years ago.
Apple also committed to not relenting in its mission until the company’s facilities were at a 100 percent reliance on renewable energy sources.
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