Greenpeace demonstration in Microsoft office

Greenpeace demonstration in Microsoft office

ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
Greenpeace demonstration in Microsoft office

The words on the banner refer to Greenpeace’s report, which explores the energy choices made by the fastest growing IT companies in their use of cloud computing. REUTERS photo

Greenpeace members held a demonstration yesterday morning outside the Microsoft office building in Istanbul’s Levent neighborhood, calling on the company to use more renewable energy.

The demonstration was against what the group says are the damaging energy choices made by Microsoft. One group member managed to climb to the roof of the building, before being removed by Microsoft’s security members.

In a statement made during the Istanbul demonstration, Greenpeace Mediterranean Climate and Energy Campaign representative Pınar Aksoğan said the increasing demand for cloud computing systems also increased the use of dirty energies like coal and nuclear.

Greenpeace warned a number of cloud computing providers, including Apple, Amazon and Microsoft, about the damaging affects their datacenters were having on the environment, on April 17.

‘How clean is your cloud?’ asks new report

In a new report, titled “How Clean is Your Cloud,” Greenpeace said there was a split in the technology industry between companies that are taking steps to power their clouds with clean energy, such as Google, Yahoo and Facebook, and those whose datacenters run on so-called “dirty energy” like coal and nuclear power.

“When people around the world share their music or photos on the cloud, they want to know that the cloud is powered by clean, safe energy,” said Greenpeace International senior policy analyst, Gary Cook.

“Yet highly innovative and profitable companies like Apple, Amazon and Microsoft are building datacenters powered by coal and acting like their customers won’t know or won’t care. They’re wrong.”
Greenpeace said cloud computing providers need to be more transparent about their energy usage and carbon footprint, and should follow the examples of Google, Yahoo and Facebook in the way those companies have prioritized renewable energy sources.

The charity argued that the IT industry should share innovative solutions in green energy, like Facebook has just done with its OpenCompute initiative, as well as make demands on governments to increase the amount of renewable energy available on the grid.

The half an hour demonstration at the Microsoft office ended when police arrived at the scene.