Greenpeace’s latest report Making IT Green was launched in the US on the eve of the iPad launch there.

Although, the environmental group was at pains to point out it was not criticising Apple directly it’s hard not to draw a comparison with the report’s launch – as iPads arrive with consumers.

The report links a growth in internet computing with a ‘huge jump’ in greenhouse gas emissions, through the way electricity is supplied to power the buildings, or data centres, where websites are maintained.

A spokesman said: “Our report shows how the launch of quintessential cloud computing devices like the iPad, which offer users access to the ‘cloud’ of online services like social networks and video streaming, can contribute to a much larger carbon footprint of the information technology sector than previously estimated.

“To be clear, we are not picking on Apple, we are not dissing the iPad. But maybe someone can come up with an app that calculates the carbon footprint of using different web sites based on their location and energy deals.

“The report builds on previous research showing that at current growth rates data centres and telecommunication networks will consume about 1,963 billion kilowatt hours of electricity in 2020.

“That is more than triple their current consumption and more than the current electricity consumption of France, Germany, Canada and Brazil combined.”

Apple have produced a PDF detailing the iPad’s green credentials, pointing out the firm’s ‘careful environmental management’.

It read: “Apple believes that improving the environmental performance of our business starts with our products.

“iPad uses power-efficient components and software that intelligently manages power consumption, in addition, the iPad 10W USB Power Adapter outperforms the stringent requirements of the ENERGY STAR specification for external power supplies.”

Luke Walsh

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