Greenpeace activists target Apple stores in US and Canada

25 Apr 2012

Greenpeace activists target Apple's store in Toronto's Eaton Centre, brandishing black balloons and signs that read 'Clean Our Cloud'. Image by Greenpeace

Apple may have reported incredible second-quarter revenues of US$39.2bn yesterday, but that didn’t deter Greenpeace activists, as they staged protests at Apple stores in San Francisco, New York and Toronto.

Yesterday in San Francisco, a group of Greenpeace activists took to Union Square, where Apple’s flagship store is based. reported that the activists walked into Union Square brandishing hundreds of black and white balloons that were emblazoned with the words ‘Clean Our Cloud’.

Over in New York, Apple’s Fifth Avenue store was the scene of a balloon tirade by activists, as they released black balloons in the glass cube entrance to the building.

In Toronto, Greenpeace activists also staged a demonstration at the Apple store in the city’s Eaton Centre shopping centre yesterday.

Activists floated a ‘dirty’ cloud made of more than 200 black balloons above the store’s entrance. As well as this, they also covered Apple devices in the store with signs that read ‘Cloud Cleaning in Progress’.

Last week, Greenpeace released its How Clean is Your Cloud report, in which it rated 14 global IT companies such as Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, HP and Twitter, on how much greenhouse gas emissions they are producing at their data centre operations.

In the report, Greenpeace slated Apple, Amazon and Microsoft, claiming they all scored badly for relying on “dirty energy” to power up their data centres.

Since then, Greenpeace has been upping the scale of its Apple attack. Via its Clean our Cloud petition, Green is calling on the tech titan to clean up its act because it says the Apple iCloud relies on coal.

“As Canadians become increasingly reliant upon cloud technology, they want to use their iPhones and iPads knowing that our cloud is being powered by clean energy, not dirty pollution from coal and nuclear energy,” said Christy Ferguson, climate and energy unit head for Greenpeace Canada, following the Toronto protest yesterday.

Last week, Apple defended itself against Greenpeace claims that it uses “dirty energy” to power up its data centres.

While Greenpeace had stated Apple would use 100 megawatts (MW) of power at its new data centre in Maiden, North Carolina, Apple hit back and said the data centre would use one-fifth of that estimate – at 20MW.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic