If the Internet were a country, it would rank sixth in the world in electricity consumption. It is estimated that the ICT sector already has an energy footprint of about 7% of global electricity consumption, and the footprint will continue to increase as it is believed that data traffic will triple by 2020. These are data collected in the report “Clicking Clean 2017: Who is winning the race to build a Green Internet?” Prepared by Greenpeace USA, which, given the enormous amount of energy needed to manufacture and power private devices, data centers and communication networks, has traced the footprint of some of the main operators in the sector.

The report finds that nearly 20 technology companies, including Apple, Google and Facebook, are making significant strides to commit to 100% clean, renewable energy use and leaving polluting sources behind, while others such as Amazon Web Services or Netflix are lagging behind. Greenpeace pauses in the case of Netflix because it is one of the companies with the largest data footprints of those analyzed – its video streaming service represents a third of data traffic in North America – and “because of its fundamental role in defining with what energy feeds the online world” for its ability to influence.