Switch earns straight A’s in clean energy from Greenpeace


Cherry Creek II, UNLV’s 26,000-processor supercomputer, is stored at Las Vegas data company Switch, pictured here.

Las Vegas-based Switch has become the first multi-tenant data center provider in the world to receive a perfect score in the six-year history of Greenpeace’s Clicking Clean report.

The report, released Tuesday, awarded A grades to the company in energy transparency, renewable energy commitment and siting, energy efficiency and mitigation, renewable procurement and advocacy. Switch was the only company to score 100 percent in Greenpeace’s clean-energy index.

Apple, Facebook, Google and Salesforce rounded out the top five in Greenpeace’s rankings.

“Switch, new to the Clicking Clean report this year, scored among the highest for any class of company,” the Greenpeace report said. “It is the definitive leader among colocation operators for its efforts to transition its data center fleet to renewables as fast as possible through a combination of renewable energy procurement and aggressive advocacy.”

The company, founded in 2000, adhered to renewable energy principles while contracting for Switch Station 1 and Switch Station 2 solar projects and during work with Consumers Energy in Michigan to develop a new renewable-energy project, Switch officials noted.

Renewable energy use by data center providers is increasingly critical as the amount of power used by data centers continues to grow. The Department of Energy estimates that in 2015, data centers consumed more than 2 percent of all energy in the U.S.

Since 2011, the Clicking Clean report has evaluated the energy demand of the internet and the energy choices made by individual companies. The report’s results have been used to recognize companies that have helped revolutionize the internet through transformative sustainability commitments and call attention to those that have not.

“Switch embraces its duty to advocate for clean energy now and as we continue to grow,” said Adam Kramer, Switch executive vice president for strategy, in a news release. “Whether spearheading a revolution in energy policy in Nevada through the recent voter-approved Energy Choice Initiative, working to develop new renewable resources and tariffs in Michigan, or advocating for strong sustainability policies with global keynote addresses, from Washington, D.C., to Singapore, green energy advocacy is in our DNA.”