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Going Green: 5 Tech Giants and Their Environmental Impact

Apr 03, 2016 05:20 AM EDT
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Apple Inc.
Apple Inc. is an American technology company that designs, develops and sells consumer electronics, computer software and online services.

This giant was once the number one tech enemy of many environmental advocates. In 2013, according to Daily Tech, one of Apple’s suppliers in China was under the spotlight for allegedly dumping cutting fluid and motor oil in the nearby river. A month later, two other suppliers of the brand in China were under fire due to the same offense of dumping of “black-green colored” water in the nearby river.

At present, Apple has become one of the most environment-friendly companies. According to its own report, 87 percent of its global operations run on renewable energy. They have also partnered with the Conservation Fund to help protect the forest. The company also helps their suppliers meet the standards for water reuse through their Clean Water Program.

Their newest iPhone product, the iPhone SE, is said to have total greenhouse gas emissions of only 75 kilograms of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent), most of it was generated during its production. (Photo: Kristy Sparow/Getty Images for Apple)

Samsung is a South Korean multinational conglomerate company that battles with Apple as the world’s best-selling smartphone brand.

Friends of the Earth reported in 2013 that Samsung admitted its use of tin in its products. Tin mining destroys tropical forest and kills corals. Samsung tackled the issue and is praised by Friends of Earth for taking an industry lead by tracking its supply chains.

At present, Samsung carries out a wide range of environmental activities. Samsung has adopted the Life Cycle Assessment method, which conduct analysis during the product development process in order to reduce the environmental impacts from the entire life cycle of products.

The company is also doing a take back and recycling program by recycling and recovering of waste electronic products, many of which find themselves in landfills or garbage patches. (Photo:Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Google is one of the tech giants that specializes in Internet-related services and products.

Executives at Google was once stressed out by a study reported in The Times of London that stated that the amount of energy it takes to make two Google searches can boil water for a cup of tea. Taking into consideration the billions of Google searches a day. Google instantly became an enemy of the environment.

Google tackled the issue by releasing its own article saying that the numbers in the study are widely inflated and noted that only 0.2 grams of carbon dioxide is created in a single Google search.

At present, Google uses 37 percent renewable energy in their operation. The company admitted that even with their efforts in efficiency and renewable energy, they still have negative impact to the environment.

To offset the carbon being produced by their operations, Google invests in other projects that reduce the carbon emission at another source outside of the company. (Photo:Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Microsoft is an American multinational technology company that develops, manufactures, licenses, supports and sells consumer software, electronics and personal computers and services.

During the release of Windows Vista in 2007, UK Green Party claims that the availability of the new operating system may cause mass upgrades of PCs, resulting to the dumping of the older machines in landfills.

Microsoft responded to the claim by suggesting to meet with UK Green Party to discuss its environmental records.

Since 2012, the company has been carbon neutral and is 100-percent powered by renewable energy since 2014.

Microsoft also supports initiatives that encourage utilities and suppliers to improve the access and affordability of renewable energy. (Photo: David Ramos/Getty Images)

Facebook is an American corporation that provides social networking services.

According to The Link, the tech giant once clashed with environmental advocates due to the high amount of electricity their data centers need to consume to be operational.

On the same year that Facebook crossed paths with environmentalists, the company, together with Alliance to Save Energy, the Digital Energy Solutions Campaign and The Green Grid, started the Green on Facebook Initiative.

In the Green on Facebook page, the company honestly discloses its total carbon emission and water usage.

Facebook also developed a new programming language that cuts down CPU usage by 50 percent. The company claims that they are just getting started and that they are committed in using their engineering capabilities to design efficient infrastructures and move to 100 percent clean and renewable energy sources.
(Photo:Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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