Greenpeace targets Apple London store

  • @davidcrookes

Activists from Greenpeace have plastered the windows of an Apple store in London with a poster protesting against the company's use of coal.

The protestors targeted the store on Regent Street with an alternative advert aimed at highlighting a recent report which showed 55 per cent of the fuel used to power Apple's data centres comes from coal.

Entering the store at lunchtime, the activists attempted to explain their actions, handing staff and customers an Apple logo made from coal.

It follows similar action at other stories including one in San Francisco yesterday.

Jim Footner, senior energy campaigner at Greenpeace, said: “The Irony is that Apple has shown that it can be environmentally responsible – their European HQ is exclusively powered by renewable energy. So if they can run their HQ with clean power then they can do it for customers’ iClouds.  If they fail to change course the clean image that Apple have worked so hard to develop over many years will be destroyed.”

The action follows the publishing of a report entitled “How Clean is Your Cloud?” which delves into the growing trend to build new data centres to cope with the popularity of cloud storage.

Cloud services allow people to store and share photos, videos and documents on remote servers with Apple, Google and Microsoft being key players with their respective iCloud, Drive and SkyDrive services. Other companies such as Amazon and Dropbox are also instrumental in offering cloud computing products.

Greenpeace claims some some Apple data centres use as much electricity as 250,000 homes. It says if the cloud was a country, its electricity demand would currently rank fifth in the world. it add that this is expected to triple by 2020.

Greenpeace is also angry that Apple is currently building a huge new data centre in Maiden, North Carolina, that it says will rely mostly on coal power.

Apple says it takes environmental issues seriously and it is set to build a huge solar farm for its data centre in Maiden, North Carolina.

The company says it will be “the greenest data center ever built". Another centre will be opened in Oregon next year, running on 100 percent renewable energy, it adds.