Apple’s Cupertino HQ targeted by Greenpeace activists

15 May 2012

Greenpeace version of an 'iPod' outside Apple's Global HQ at Infinity Loop in Cupertino in California on 15 May 2012. Image courtesy of Greenpeace

Two Greenpeace activists today barricaded themselves in a giant Greenpeace version of an iPod outside of Apple’s Cupertino HQ in California. Why exactly? Well the tirade from the activists was carried out to appeal to Apple to power its iCloud using cleaner energy instead of coal.

The latest Greenpeace attack on Apple over its energy usage coincided with today’s news that the computer giant is planning a major overhaul of iCloud to include a new photo-sharing service.

But what about the Greenpeace duo who set up camp at Apple’s worldwide HQ in Cupertino today?

They have apparently been broadcasting audio messages from people around the world to Apple’s employees and executives concerning data centres and powering them up with clean energy.

Today’s giant iPod replica was retrofitted from an eight-foot tall, 10-foot wide survival device that Greenpeace previously used in protests to prevent Arctic drilling.

As well as the giant iPod replica, four activists dressed as fully functional iPhones with TV screens as torsos arrived to display messages from supporters on Twitter and Facebook to the company’s employees as they entered the campus.

And last night, activists projected tweets, photos and messages from Greenpeace’s Clean Our Cloud supporters onto a wall of the Apple building.

Greenpeace target Apple in California 15 May 2012

Greenpeace has been lashing out at computer giant Apple, as well as Microsoft and Amazon, in recent weeks following the publication of its report, How Clean is Your Cloud.

In the report Greenpeace evaluated 14 IT companies based on key elements needed to build a clean cloud, including the electricity supply chain of over 80 data centres.

Greenpeace said that the report found that Google and Yahoo! are showing commitments to clean energy usage, while it said Apple, Amazon and Microsoft rely on coal and nuclear energy to deliver their clouds.

Apple's headquarters at Infinite Loop in Cupertino, California. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Apple’s headquarters at Infinite Loop in Cupertino, California. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

“Apple’s executives have thus far ignored the hundreds of thousands of people asking them to use their influence for good by building a cloud powered by renewable energy,” claimed Greenpeace USA executive director Phil Radford today. “As Apple’s customers, we love our iPhones and iPads, but we don’t want to use an iCloud fuelled by the smog of dirty coal pollution.”

Greenpeace International IT analyst Casey Harrell continued: “For a company known for its innovation, Apple is being left in the dust by companies like Facebook, Google and Yahoo!, all of whom have taken steps and adopted policies to ensure that their clouds are increasingly powered by clean energy.”

In April, 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