Facebook announced today that it’s formed a collaboration with Greenpeace that will lead the company to a clean energy future. The social media giant was targeted two years ago by Greenpeace’s “Unfriend Coal Campaign” which gathered 700,000 online activists to persuade the social media giant to power its data centers with clean renewable energy instead of coal. Facebook has now officially joined on, the campaign has ended, and they are pledging to power future data centers on green power and push the rest of the industry to do the same.
Facebook has noted that it’s changed its list of demands when looking for a new data center site; they now look for accessible clean energy nearby as one of their top requirements. The company is pledging to keep that up and make a show of it so that the rest of the industry will follow suit. They’ll also be developing energy efficient computing technology, which they’ll share with the rest of the computing industry through the Open Compute Project. With computing in the United States and other countries becoming a ubiquitous part of everyday life the energy needed for data centers to store all of that information is rising. It is currently about 2% of US electricity demand and is expected to grow to 12% or more.
“Facebook looks forward to a day when our primary energy sources are clean and renewable, and we are working with Greenpeace and others to help bring that day closer,” said Marcy Scott Lynn of Facebook’s sustainability program. “Greenpeace has been particularly effective using Facebook to spark environmental awareness and action, we are excited to work with them to explore new ways in which people can use Facebook to engage and connect on the range of energy issues that matter most to them – from their own energy efficiency to access to cleaner sources of energy.” This partnership should help both organizations spread their message to a wider audience, Facebook gets to cuddle up next to one of the largest environmental groups on Earth and Greenpeace gets a huge platform from which to spread their green web message to the world.