green education articles
- Green 101
- Global Warming
- Clean Technology
- Organic Gardening
- Environmental Defense
- Robert Swan and 2041
Would you like to be a contributor?
We're always looking for expert content contributors. Get started by submitting your article or email us with any questions email@example.com your article today!
05/16/2013, 10:00PM ET
05/13/2013, 11:45AM ET
05/10/2013, 05:26AM ET
On Aug 05, 2012 03:00AM ET in Green 101
Greenpeace is among those who “likes” Facebook’s release of its carbon footprint data on Wednesday this week, The Guardian reports.
The page was titled Facebook’s Carbon and Energy Impact, and contains the company’s total energy use, total carbon footprint, and energy mix for 2011. Facebook cited openness and transparency as motivations for sharing its carbon footprint data in face of the company’s expansion.
The company’s total energy use was 532M kWh for 2011 and included its data centers (509M kWh) and office space and facilities (23M kWh). Its West Coast Co-location facility used the most energy at 227 M kWh while its facility in Forest City, NC used the least energy at only 6M.
Facebook’s energy mix for 2011 included coal (27%), natural gas (17%), and nuclear (13%) as well as clean and renewable sources (23%) and an uncategorized 20%. Facebook explains “uncategorized” as being attributed to utilities that don’t report energy sources purchased on the spot market.
The social networking site’s total carbon footprint was 285K MT CO2e, which is noted by the Guardian as significantly lesser than Google’s 1.5m tons in 2010. Each Facebook user’s carbon footprint for the whole of 2011 was calculated to be at .000269 MT CO2e or 269 grams. Facebook compared this to having 1 medium latte, a couple of glasses of wine, or 3 large bananas. The figure was calculated using the company’s Scope 1 and 2 emissions and its monthly active users by the end of 2011. Again its data centers figured significantly in the overall carbon footprint calculation, registering a total of 207K MT CO2e with its East Coast Colocation Facility having the biggest carbon footprint at 105K MT CO2e. Facebook also included its other business activities like corporate air travel (15K MT CO2e), server transportation (6K MT CO2e), employee commuting (8K MT CO2e), and data center construction (36K MT CO2e) totaling 65K MT CO2e. The company credits its transportation programs for saving the company at least 709 MT CO2e. The company provides commuter shuttles for its employees, and this along with other forms of commuting (public transit, walking, biking, vanpools, etc.) were included in the carbon footprint analysis.
Facebook stated that it had its carbon footprint calculations verified by a qualified third party for the sake of completeness and accuracy.
In its newsroom, the company shared its goal of being able to derive at least a quarter of its energy mix from clean and renewable sources by 2015. Its latest data center in Lulea, Sweden is expected to be online by 2014 and almost solely powered by existing hydropower.
Facebook recently launched its page on Sustainability, where an interactive timeline details projects and initiatives launched through the social networking site’s platform like WWF’s environmental advocacy app, “A Billion Acts of Green” campaign, and Audubon Society’s interactive Facebook game “Birding the Net”. Green on Facebook is also supported by WWF, NDRC (Natural Resources Defense Council), and The National Audubon Society among others.
In The Guardian interview, Greenpeace International’s senior IT analyst, Gary Cook, said that Facebook’s move is an important benchmark and shows the company means business on its commitment to being fully powered by renewable energy sources.
Photo Credit: Some rights reserved by owenwbrown on Flickr.