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The World’s Greenest Data Center Companies

The Internet has become indispensable for both business & personal communications and this has driven the unprecedented global demand for connectivity. In 2012 there were approximately 2.3 billion Internet users and analysts’ forecast that there will be over 3.6 billion Internet users by 2017. To service this demand, companies are building larger and more energy hungry data centers. With almost 2% of the world’s energy being consumed by data centers, it affects everything from the environment, to government policies to the local power grids. Recognizing this impact, consumers-to-investors have become keenly interested in companies & their partners carbon footprint and their renewable energy policies. As a result, companies are developing clean energy strategies and investing tens-of-billions of dollars in “green energy”. Using solid metrics from corporate policies & investments to Renewable Energy Credits (REC) & Power Utilization Effectiveness (PUE), The World’s Top Data Centers (WTDC) has ranked the following companies as “Earth Friendly”. Ranked on a 5.0=perfect scale.


#1: Apple


Ranking = 4.83/5.0

Coupling together Apple’s commitment to power their data centers with 100% renewable energy, their advocacy and transparency, the WTDC’s has scored Apple as one of the world’s top “green” internet company. Apple has made massive clean energy investments to power their data centers including: building the largest privately owned solar farms in North Carolina, working with NV Energy in Nevada to power their new Reno data center with solar and geothermal energy, and purchasing wind energy for its Oregon and California data centers.


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#2: Facebook


Ranking = 4.75/5.0

Facebook comes in at #2 for “world’s greenest” company! Founding the industry changing “Open Compute Project” initiative in 2010, Facebook had a major influence in newly designed equipment and facilities that are optimized for data centers across the ecosystem. As more and more companies join Open Compute, they add to the critical forum providing open-source energy efficiency best practices in data centers and are helping to reduce energy demand across the sector. Facebook has also established a near-term target to be 25% renewable powered by 2015 and is regularly reporting on progress toward this goal.

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#3: Google


Rank = 4.5/5.0

Coming in at #3, Google has made 15 wind and solar investments totaling more than $1 billion. The company is now reporting electricity consumption of 3,315 GWh, with 34% of its operations powered by clean energy. Google’s use of power purchase agreements (PPAs) to procure clean energy has been adopted by others in the sector, like Microsoft, and it has successfully influenced utilities in Oklahoma and North Carolina to offer new renewable energy options by using its immense business clout.


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#4: Akamai


Rank = 4.0/5.0

As an Internet content delivery network (CDN), Akamai provides a service to companies delivering content to users browsing and downloading from the web. Akamai (Hawaiian for “intelligent” or “witty) is one of the world’s largest distributed-computing platforms is also one of the companies leading the green energy initiative. Akamai gets high marks for transparency and setting aggressive bench marks for energy efficiency.


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#5: Yahoo

Yahoo Corp

Rank = 3.75/4.0

An early leader in “green energy” design, the Yahoo! Compute Coop architecture uses airflow management to drive cooling efficiencies in data centers. Using this Coop architecture to achieve Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) as low as 1.07 in some facilities and by expanding their contracts for carbon-free hydroelectric power, Yahoo is ranked in the top 5 by the “World’s Top Data Centers”.



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#6: Microsoft


Rank = 3.67/5.0

In 2012, Microsoft made a strong statement by announcing a corporate commitment to become carbon neutral by 2013.  To help meet this goal, Microsoft implemented a “carbon fee” program, where individual business divisions are assessed charges if they use carbon-based energy or travel.  The money goes into a carbon fund and Microsoft uses it to invest into projects that reduce their corporate carbon footprint. Through this program, Microsoft is purchasing more than 1.9 billion kilowatt-hours of renewable energy per year.  [otw_shortcode_divider margin_top_bottom=”30″ display=”empty” text_position=”otw-text-left”][/otw_shortcode_divider]


#7: eBay


Rank = 3.5/5.0

In early 2013, eBay’s Digital Service Efficiency initiative made a major step forward in measuring critical metrics for their infrastructure. Using revenue, performance, cost and carbon footprint as data points, the company can measure and therefore drive improvements in the efficiency of their customers URL buy-sell transactions. eBay has also announced a goal to “run cleaner” by sourcing at least 8% of their energy from cleaner sources by 2015 and reducing the “carbon per transaction” by 10%.


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#8: Salesforce


Rank = 3.5/5.0

Salesforce is one of the first and forward looking cloud companies to publically state that their goal is to become 100% powered by ‘clean and renewable energy”. In March 2013, Salesforce released a “Sustainability Commitment” outlining their initial focus on research, preference, supply and socialization of clean energy.




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#9: Rackspace


Rank = 3.4/5.0

Forming partnerships and collaborating with organizations like Openstack, Open Compute Project and The Green Grid, Rackspace has shown its corporate commitment renewable energy. Publically stating that their goal is to increase their global operations renewable energy usage by 5% each year until they reach 100%, Rackspace has been named as an Environmental Protection Agency “Green Power Partner” and ranked number 16 on the “Top 30 Tech & Telcom List”
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#10: Hewlett Packard


Rank = 3.25/5.0

Adding additional solar capacity for energy generation, HP increased their on-site renewable energy to almost 18% in 2013. Additional projects in India, Israel, Mexico and the United States are projected to more than double their capacity in 2014. HP also purchased approximately 500MW of renewable energy through contracts with external providers. [otw_shortcode_divider margin_top_bottom=”30″ display=”empty” text_position=”otw-text-left”][/otw_shortcode_divider]



#11: IBM

IBM Cloud

Rank = 3.20/5.0

Big Blue is investing heavily in expanding their global network of data centers. The recent commitment of $1.2B for an additional 15 data centers around the world will help their ability to provide cloud services from 40 locations throughout 15 countries. Concurrently, IBM is investing in solar, co & tri-generation systems and geothermal energy to supply their facilities. Combining on-site generation, the purchase of 499 million kWh of renewable energy and over 5% of electrical grid purchases from renewable sources, IBM is achieved approximately 15 percent of their 2012 consumption from renewable energy.

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