I wrote on Facebook’s “unfriend coal” campaign a couple weeks ago, focusing on the conversation between leaders in the activism giant’s organization and leaders in the internet giant’s organization.
Since that time, Facebook has put out a brilliant and super-cute campaign video (below) and I’ve run across some more interesting (shocking, I might say) information.
By 2020, at current growth rates, “data centers and telecommunication networks, the two key components of the cloud Facebook depends on, will consume about 1,963 billion kilowatts hours of electricity…. That’s more than triple their current consumption and more than the current electricity consumption of France, Germany, Canada and Brazil combined.” (emphasis added)
And, using coal power, the dirtiest form of energy, to power these data centers and networks is completely irresponsible.
Here is Greenpeace’s latest video on this matter, and to join the campaign, visit Greenpeace’s unfriend coal campaign page.
Just as a refresher, here’s exactly what Greenpeace says Facebook needs to do about its coal problem:
This list outlines the steps Facebook needs to take:
- Commit to stop using polluting coal power,
- Use its purchasing power to choose only clean, renewable sources of electricity,
- Advocate for strong climate and energy policy changes at the local, national and international level to ensure that as the IT industry’s energy demand increases, so does the supply of renewable energy,
- Share this information publicly on its website so its millions of users know the company is a climate leader.
This is our check list for all leading IT companies to show true climate leadership. Facebook needs to set a strong policy in these areas, including a commitment to locate its datacenters (owned and rented) where it can increase demand for renewable energy.
Facebook needs to own up to the fact that it has chosen the most polluting form of power — coal. Without a strong policy statement on these issues any claims Facebook makes about how very green its new datacenter is will ring hollow.
Will Facebook step up to the task?