So, I started reading the article. And it said ...
Samsung, Fujitsu, Apple & Microsoft emissions hit by cloud computing and supply chain
Samsung has biggest carbon footprint with over 55m tonnes of CO2-e
Intel supply chain accounts for 43m tonnes of its CO2-e figure
Are your eyes glazing over? Mine were. But I kept reading, anyway. I'm a trooper.
Sustainability data publishing site Ecodesk has revealed that carbon emissions targets at leading technology companies such as Samsung, Intel, Microsoft, Apple and Fujitsu are being hit by a shift to cloud computing and supply chain reporting. Samsung and Intel in particular have seen their CO2 emissions rocket due to the inclusion of their supply chain.
Ecodesk profiled over 50 of the top technology companies among hundreds of other global businesses, claims that many supposedly ‘green’ companies and rankings which claim steady declines in emissions figures are completely misleading, Ecodesk data shows that in fact tech companies with the highest carbon footprints are actually the most responsible.
Hmm ... so the most "green" companies that claim to have declining emissions actually have a larger carbon footprint. Hmm. Pray tell, how did that happen?
Samsung, Intel and Apple for example have high CO2-e but both businesses include the emissions of their respective supply chains (called GHG Scope 3) as part of their standard reporting, following recent guidelines by the World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD). The result is that on the surface they look like big polluters. Intel’s carbon footprint is 46m tonnes of CO2 but its supply chain accounts for about 96% of its total emissions.
Oh, sh*t! So ... if the company is honest and reports emissions that their suppliers make as part of being transparent, the company ends up looking worse. I think that's what this is saying ... oh, dear.
“Tech companies in particular are leading the charge and being very bold by forfeiting their own emission targets to embrace the emissions produced by third parties,” said Robert Clarke, CEO at Ecodesk. “The shift to embrace cloud computing and supply chains has meant that each company that embraces what we feel is the most comprehensive model experience their own emissions shoot up although the overall impact on the environment is reduced significantly by cloud computing, and supply chain imperatives. I have no doubt that this is the right move for the environment although on first glance it doesn’t look good in terms of hitting emissions targets.”
Wow, that's a whole lot of words. And I have no idea what this guy is saying at all.
The problem with cloud computing is also compounded by whether a cloud is deemed ‘clean’ or ‘dirty’. While embracing the cloud does have longer term environmental benefits, technology companies have to ensure they are dealing with data centres which employ progressive sustainability measures, like Apple, who use renewable power sources and highly advanced efficiency in power consumption, from lighting to cooling.
“It is very important to assess the net carbon impact of the ‘after scenario’,” said Alison Rowe, Global Executive Director of Sustainability at Fujitsu. “If you have a clean data centre with renewable energy and you move that into a ‘dirty’ cloud powered by coal then this isn’t an improvement.”
“The large tech companies are working hard on improving their emissions and reporting transparency,” added Clarke. “Extending their carbon footprints to their supply chains and ultimately making the whole industry more responsible can only be a good thing for the environment. They will also realise very significant cost savings in reduced logistics and energy use. The economic drivers are huge.”
I'm the author of the Sam McRae Mystery Series. The first novel IDENTITY CRISIS hit the New York Times ebook bestseller list in 2011. I'm also a Derringer Award nominee, with several short stories published. I'm an attorney, with degrees in journalism and library science. Furthermore, I'm a strong supporter of indie bookstores. For more details, check out my blog at http://debbimackwriter.wordpress.com. My Web site at http://www.debbimack.com is currently undergoing renovations.