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Will Facebook Go Green by Earth Day?

By Lucy Brake - 25 Feb 2011 8:29:1 GMT
Will Facebook Go Green by Earth Day?

Greenpeace is campaigning for the global social networking giant, Facebook, to commit to end its reliance on energy sourced from coal by Earth Day on 22 April 2011. Earth Day is a global celebration of the Earth's natural environment and is a chance to promote and inspire awareness to taking better care of our precious resources.

Raising awareness to how online services are actually delivered and that the carbon footprints of many of our favourite providers are not as green as we might like to think is an important part of Greenpeace's latest campaign. Information Technology organisations are seeing massive growth and subsequently are major users of electricity. If the Internet was ranked against countries for electricity use then it would place 5th and that consumption is set to continue to rise.

Facebook has recently chosen to build two data centres in Oregon and North Carolina, both of which will be supplied mainly by coal-sourced electricity. At this stage Facebook has no public plan in place to reduce its use of this non-renewable energy.

"Facebook has become a household name used every day by millions of people; unfortunately, it's relying on 19th century dirty coal power to deliver its 21st century services,'" said Greenpeace energy campaigner Casey Harrell. According to Harrell, Greenpeace's campaign called "Facebook: Unfriend Coal" has already been backed by over 600,000 supporters who have gone online to tell Facebook's staff that they want them to use clean energy sources: "People from all over the world are asking the website they love to lead the Energy Revolution by un-friending coal".

By educating Facebook users about the way the company powers its services they hope to put the pressure on this online goliath to clean up its ways. "Facebook's visionary approach to business changed how we live our lives online," Harrell said. "The company has a real opportunity to lead by example by extending this spirit of innovation to the environment, by showing that businesses can flourish by being clean energy-powered". Earth Day is a fantastic opportunity to make changes in the way we live our lives and by supporting the greening of Facebook we look forward to the day that our Facebook pages and those of our friends and family are powered by clean energy rather than coal-fired.