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Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple: The Good, The Bad, The Environmentally Conscious

Feb 26, 2018

Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple: The Good, The Bad, The Environmentally Conscious


Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple: The Good, The Bad, The Environmentally Conscious

Keeping it green....




In late 2016, Google announced their audacious goal of being 100% powered by renewable energy by the end of 2017. Remarkably just shy of a full year later, they succeeded by purchasing four different wind farms in the Midwest. That’s three gigawatts, more than twice the amount generated by the world’s next corporate buyer of renewable power, Amazon. For reference, about 1.3 million horses could generate one gigawatt, so thank Google for making our environment a bit more “stable”.



Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has been making a stir over some pretty schnazzy videos on top of wind turbines lately. Though he’s led Amazon to invest in enough renewable energy to power the flux capacitor, Amazon has otherwise been falling short of the bar. Greenpeace, known for rating big companies based on their willingness to help the environment, bombed Amazon with an ‘F’. This is likely due to their lack of transparency when it comes to their energy use, materials, and whether or not it uses hazardous chemicals. Their business model doesn’t do them any favors, either. Online shopping is horrendous for the environment because it relies so heavily on emissions-coughing vehicles for transportation of goods. We still love your space program, but c’mon, Jeff.



Though it has had solid marks by Greenpeace, we don’t think the iPhone supergiant has been doing as well. In the Reputation Institute’s yearly report that surveys how well companies are perceived in helping society, their employees, and their leadership, Apple has fallen on the leader board from last year. This likely stems from their business model that requires users to constantly upgrade their iPhones to newer models. Pair their admission to slowing down older phones with the ridiculously fragile $1000+ iPhone X, and almost half of the American market is on the line to progressively waste old and broken mobiles. Though the energy saved from recycling only 42 cell phones could power a household for an entire year, only 14-17% of cell phones are recycled. What’s not recycled is thrown in landfills to seep toxic metals into the ground, or is shipped to developing nations where they are smelted to let toxic gasses into the air. Though Apple is not alone in this ever-increasing strike against the environment, their recent trend is alarming.



The social media giant hasn’t quite had the same hills to climb. Opposed to Amazon’s delivery service, Apple’s product manufacturing, and whatever Google is doing, Facebook doesn’t quite have the same avenues to produce as much pollution. Even so, they still have some projects and those massive servers holding every click on their website that require a significant power, so they’ve made similar pledges for more green power, but with a twist – it should help other companies in their own pursuits to go green as well. There’s something we can “like”.