Figures released by Facebook on Wednesday reveal that the social network had a very respectable carbon footprint for 2011, even earning a nod from Greenpeace.
The total energy used by Facebook last year measured 532 million Kilowatt hours, which when taking into consideration the 36% of its energy the company gets from renewable and nuclear energy sources, equates to roughly 285,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions for 2011. If you then compare that to the 1.5 million tons of CO2 emitted by Google in 2010, which is not accounted for by the relative difference in size between the companies.
In a blog post yesterday announcing Facebook’s carbon footprint, the company stated that the annual carbon dioxide emissions per monthly active user was 269 grams. The report also put this into context, saying that “one person’s Facebook use for all of 2011 had roughly the same carbon footprint as one medium latte. Or three large bananas. Or a couple of glasses of wine.”
Admittedly, that sounds like a small amount, but then again Facebook has 955 million active users so it does all add up. However, those in the know are impressed with Facebook’s carbon footprint. Gary Cook, International Senior IT Analyst at Greenpeace, had this to say:
“Today’s detailed disclosure and announcement of a clean energy target shows that the company means business and wants the world to follow its progress.”
Facebook also made the point that there is still work to do. In the report released yesterday the social network stated that it would like to get up to 25% renewable energy in the short-term, but admitted that due to the company’s rapid expansion it is likely that its carbon emissions might “get worse before they get better”.