In response to Facebook’s announcement that it is breaking ground on a new data center near Forest City, North Carolina, Greenpeace energy campaigner Gary Cook issued the following statement:
“Greenpeace and over half a million Facebook users (1) have asked Facebook to move away from their use of coal, but it appears that like it did with its data center in Prineville, Oregon, Facebook has again chosen a location that will increase demand for dirty energy.
“Good corporate citizenship involves more than setting up a webpage dedicated to green issues, or becoming members of green clubs, just as energy efficiency is only the first step to managing your environmental footprint.
“While Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook seem more sensitive to their environmental reputation, they appear to be making the same mistakes in North Carolina as they did in Oregon. Facebook's rapid growth continues drive new demand for dirty energy, with no apparent plan for how to address the concerns of 600,000 Facebook users who want Facebook to get off of coal.
“In fact, other IT companies, like Yahoo!, clearly understand that energy efficiency is only the beginning of managing their environmental footprint. Yahoo! engineers developed an innovative and energy efficient "chicken coop" design for its new data center in Lockport, New York, but Yahoo! also prioritizes access to clean sources of electricity in their data center siting criteria.
“Other examples of companies making better investment choices include Verizon, which recently announced the plans for a massive datacenter in Somerset, NY, that will be powered by hydroelectric power from the Niagara River; and Dell, which recently announced a new data center in hydroelectric-powered Quincy, WA.
“Google, which also has a large data center reliant on dirty energy in North Carolina, does deserve credit for lobbying to establish stronger renewable electricity standards and has made several significant investments to drive large scale clean energy deployment.”
1. More information on the Facebook: Unfriend Coal campaign can be found at www.greenpeace.org/coalfacebook
2. http://forgood.yahoo.com/go_green/doing_our_part/data_center_efficiency.html Both Yahoo!'s facilities in Lockport and Quincy, WA are predominately powered by renewables of resources of electricity.
3. Greenpeace demands that Facebook:
- Commit to a plan to phase out the use of dirty coal-fired electricity to power its data centers;
- Use its purchasing power to choose locations that allow it to rely on 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;
- Disclose its greenhouse gas emissions inventory (through mechanisms such as the Carbon Disclosure Project);
- Share its plan for environmental stewardship publicly on your website so your hundred of millions of users know that your company is a climate leader.