Apple Inc. now uses only renewable energy sources to power its data centers, the iPhone maker said in an updated report on its environmental policies.
The company's data centers now run on energy sources such as solar, wind and geothermal, instead of coal or other fossil fuels, Apple said on its website. The centers house server computers that store and distribute songs, applications and other content from services such as iTunes, iMessage and iCloud.
A year ago, Apple was targeted by Greenpeace International, which ranked Apple 12th out of 14 large technology companies in a report called "How Clean is Your Cloud?" The environmental group, which held protests at Apple's offices in Cupertino, Calif., charged Apple with relying on electricity from coal plants and gave Apple a grade of no better than D in the four categories it tracked.
In its environmental update, Apple said a 100-acre solar farm next to its largest data center, in Maiden, North Carolina, became fully operational in December. With the solar array and a large installation of fuel cells, which convert biogases into energy, Apple said it met a goal of generating 60 percent of the energy for the data center on-site.
The company said a data center that is under construction in Prineville, Ore., will also run on local renewable energy sources such as wind, hydro, solar and geothermal power.