Social media giant Facebook has said it has hit net zero emissions across its operations, deploying renewable energy generation to power its wide array of data centers and servers.
Facebook says that it was able to hit net zero emissions after a 94% cut in the past three years, and the next goal is to ensure that there are net zero emissions powering its entire supply chain by 2030.
Back in 2018, Facebook announced a 75% reduction of its carbon footprint by 2020.
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“We set these goals in 2018, and today we are one of the largest corporate buyers of renewable energy,” Facebook said in a statement, adding that “we have contracts in place for more than six gigawatts of wind and solar energy across 18 states and five countries.”
“All 63 projects are new and located on the same electrical grid as the data centres they support,” the Facebook statement added.
Facebook’s Chief Technology Officer, Mike Schroepfer added that “the biggest lever is to design and build some of the world’s most energy-efficient data centres… but we’ve also become one of the world’s largest buyers of renewable energy.”
Facebook Says it has Hit Net Zero Emissions after 94% Cut
Schroepfer pointed to one example of Facebook’s investment in a 180MW solar project in the U.S. state of Utah, which began supplying power to the grid this month. He added that the company was looking for new, innovative ways to improve its environmental footprint, including using less water and electricity in air conditioning than a typical data centre.
According to a report from The Guardian, Facebook’s target “incorporates not just the emissions caused by Facebook’s own data centres, but also those from the company’s suppliers, from the hardware developers who build its servers to the outsourcing companies who handle its moderation.”
That report continues to explain that while Facebook is indeed purchasing more than adequate renewable energy to power its operations, the company is instead buying “renewable energy certificates to match fossil-fuel generated power it is forced to rely on if the electricity grids do not have enough renewable electricity.”
Facebook is one of the first of the world’s major technology companies to hit their goals of net zero emissions, after similar plans have been announced by the likes of Microsoft, Apple, Amazon and Google.
In September, 2020, Microsoft announced that it had not only achieved net-zero emissions for its operations, but was actually beginning to offset the carbon that it had produced previously.