Facebook has announced that its global operations are now powered by 100 per cent renewable energy and the company has reached net-zero emissions, completing the goal the tech giant set for itself in 2018.
Since 2011, when Facebook had just one data centre in Prineville, Oregon, the company was already looking at how to operate more sustainably. The company’s commitment to renewable energy has continued over the years and today they are one of the largest corporate buyers of renewable energy, with contracts in place for more than 6 gigawatts of wind and solar energy across 18 states and five countries.
In 2020 alone, Facebook contracted for approximately 1 gigawatts (GW) of new renewable energy and brought 2 GW of renewable energy projects online to support their operations.
All 63 of its renewable energy projects (wind and solar) are located on the same grids as their data centres.
In partnership with the utilities that serve Facebook’s data centres, they have also developed new green tariffs, which are mechanisms for customers to buy green power from their electric utility.
In six states, Facebook has partnered with utilities and local stakeholders to develop and implement new tariffs where they weren’t available before. Other companies have used these tariffs to source their own renewable energy, and other states and utilities have used Facebook’s model to attract businesses across the United States that want 100 per cent renewable energy.
Although Facebook has reached its goal, work isn’t over. The company plans to contract new solar and wind projects to remain at 100 per cent renewable energy, even as it continues to grow.
The company has also set a new goal that in 2030, Facebook will reach net-zero emissions across not only their operations but also their value chain (their suppliers, as well as items like business travel and employee commuting).
To achieve this, Facebook will work closely with suppliers via its Responsible Supply Chain program, invest in high-quality carbon removal projects, and continue to find innovative ways to reduce emissions.