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Will Facebook Announce A Major Clean Energy Switch For Earth Day 2011?

Green on Facebook

Will Facebook announce a major clean energy switch on or before Earth Day, April 22?

Now that would really be something positive for the super-fast growing social network to offer the world for Earth Day.

GreenBiz is reporting that Greenpeace is stepping up its long-running campaign to attempt to get Facebook, the world’s largest online social network, to do exactly that.

Greenpeace has been working for a year to try and convince the social network to stop using coal-fired power for the massive number of servers necessary to run the social network. Last week at the Davos World Economic Forum, Greenpeace Executive Director Kumi Naidoo was interviewed by Randi Zuckerberg, Facebook director of marketing.

Naidoo reminded Zuckerberg, via the gift of a “Facebook: Unfriend Coal” shirt that,

we need unprecedented cooperation and leadership from corporations, like Facebook, which have the political power, capital, and innovative drive help to stop climate change.

Previously, the company announced a number of green initiatives in response to the growing pressure to change, including making its data center more efficient, but that would pale in comparison to switching to clean power.

Greenpeace is asking Facebook to make these four main commitments:

  1. Increase use of clean energy now
  2. Develop an infrastructure investment siting policy prioritizing Renewable Energy
  3. Educate your users about Facebook’s energy & carbon footprint and need for strong US energy policy
  4. Advocate for clean energy at a local, national and international levels.

It would certainly be great to see Facebook make these significant commitments, on behalf of the more than 500 million people who frequent the social network.

Matthew Wheeland from GreenBiz makes the point that having been a very fast-growing startup, albeit one with a huge valuation and global reach, they have not set up a thorough sustainability platform early on. It hasn’t been a priority in such a fast growing company.

It does seem pretty obvious that sustainability hasn’t been a key priority for the company in the face of incredibly fast growth. They probably didn’t foresee that the company would become a 500 million strong social network, despite working towards it. But now that it is, do you think they will come to the party and make a big effort to change in that regard? No doubt the White House would approve of the move.

Do you think Facebook should now start making sustainability more of a priority?

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