Facebook Should “Unfriend” Coal

Going green — By on April 16, 2011 at 7:23 am
unfriend coal Facebook Should Unfriend Coal

Greenpeace calls on Facebook to reduce coal-based electricity usage

Earth Day is fast approaching, yet Facebook has been called to take significant environmental action two days earlier.  Greenpeace is demanding that Facebook “unfriend” coal and “like” renewable energy to power the data center and other operations of the social networking giant.  The deadline for action is April 20, 2011.

The move might seem symbolic, but if Facebook does take action to reduce its fossil fuel consumption it will influence more than just its more than 500 million members (41% of all Americans have a Facebook account).  Greenpeace commented:

“At current growth rates, data centers and telecommunication networks – two key components of the cloud that Facebook depends on – will consume about 1,963 billion kilowatt hours of electricity in 2020… more than triple their current consumption.”

Its the second time in a year that Greenpeace has demanded Facebook to reduce its use of coal-based power.  Here in Central Oregon, the new Prineville data center is proceeding toward opening this year.  That single facility alone is estimated to use the energy that would be required to power 120,000 American homes.

In response to pressure from users and other members of the public, Facebook recently announced greener, leaner and less expensive data centers to power its online services.  The new data center in Oregon will be 38% more efficient and will cost 24% less than the industry average.  In fact, designs for the Prineville data center were publicized as part of the Facebook Open Compute Project announced this month.

In fact, Facebook and Greenpeace have come together to discuss the Open Compute Project and other steps to reduce reliance on fossil fuel-based energy.  With increasing numbers of applications, music files, videos, email and more, technology firms including Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple will all be looking to increase the size and numbers of its data centers to keep up with demand.  The energy required to run these operations is often more than that to power entire towns.

If Facebook “unfriends” coal and “likes” renewable energy, the social networking giant can influence many users and set a better corporate example.  Within just 24 hours of going live, the Greenpeace Facebook rally set a Guiness World Record with 70,000 responses posted.

If you want to join Greenpeace’s effort, you can “like” it right here:  www.facebook.com/greenpeaceusa.  Stay tuned for more information after the April 20th deadline.

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  1. Leah says:

    Greenpeace always thinks of genius ad campaigns, one of the best social advertisers. Thought everyone here might find this interesting. We are doing a feature on greenwashing in ad campaigns…what do you think of this Audi A3 commercial? It’s definitely hilarious but is it a great ad or just greenwash? http://ecomobility.tv/2011/04/14/audi-a3-commercial-great-ad-greenwash/

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