Climate

Facebook Claims It's All Green Now, Touts Auto-Flush Toilets

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In an effort to promote its sustainability efforts, Facebook has officially launched the company’s “Green” page. The page, represented by what appears to be the merger of a restart button and an abstract pine tree, will showcase the company’s latest green achievements, pertinent articles and a bevy of fun facts.

Under the “programs” tab there’s an official list of Facebook’s recent achievements, highlights include the company’s construction of Haystack to more efficiently store photos (which led to energy savings of 20%), its green transportation system and yes, those AUTO/Dual flush toilets at its headquarters.

The Green page is just part of Facebook’s increasingly aggressive campaign to ratchet up its sustainability efforts— or at least broadcast its green agenda to the public. This Thursday morning, Facebook also announced that it has joined the Digital Energy Solutions Campaign (DESC), a consortium of NGOs, regulators and consumers that promotes energy efficiency in the information and communications technology sector. DESC will be the first co-administrator for Facebook’s Green page, which will eventually feature other environmental experts as co-administrators.

“Our on-going philosophy has been to improve the efficiency of our infrastructure and we continue to invest tremendous resources to improve our own operations,”Jonathan Heiliger, VP of Technical Operations at Facebook said in a statement. “By creating and sharing innovative technology solutions, we hope to help raise the visibility of the importance of environmental sustainability across all industries.”

Today’s two-for-one announcement also comes in the wake of Facebook’s recent partnership with the Alliance to Save Energy, a large coalition of environmental leaders and major corporations like Dell and AT&T. Last week, Facebook agreed to give the Alliance $500,000 in free advertising on its site, to promote the campaign and its new consumer-facing website, LivingEfficiently.org.

The initiatives come amid growing criticism from certain environmental groups, like Greenpeace, which have complained that Facebook has not done enough to promote sustainability and energy efficiency. This year, Greenpeace has pressed Facebook to make its data centers greener by using more renewable energy. The group took particular offense to Facebook’s new data center in Prineville, Oregon, which is powered by  Pacific Power, a utility firm that draws significant energy from coal plants.

The months-old saga hasn’t died down yet, on Wednesday, the NYTimes ran an article titled, “Facebook Under Pressure to Be Greener,” which detailed the tension between Greenpeace and Facebook and the social network’s ongoing challenge to be energy efficient as it scales up.

Seems like the perfect time to publicly launch a Green page.

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