Facebook Releases its Carbon Footprint Report
Today, Facebook announced the release of its carbon footprint metrics in a special Facebook app, dedicated to the reporting. The data puts Facebook below Google’s stated cabon footprint industry average in 2010, and is promising for tech industry ‘green’ evangelists.
And as Katie Fehrenbacher of GigaOM notes, the carbon footprint you leave from drinking your morning latte is about the same as using Facebook for a year. She writes, "Yeah, that’s nothing, and shouldn’t scare off green-leaning, guilt-susceptible Facebookers (but maybe latte drinkers should think twice — the milk is the energy suck)."
For Facebook, who has admittedly been a proponent of sustainability, and outlined their initiatives on another unique page, the report is both a marketing and PR tool. But it also shows the progress that tech companies have made towards sustainability.
Google, by comparison, revealed its carbon footprint for the first time in 2010, saying that it emitted 1.5 million tons of carbon annually.
According to an article in the Guardian, Google said its data centers consume “50% less energy than the industry average.” This, they say is mostly due to the cloud-based nature of its product. Google has not released an updated carbon footprint report since then.
Facebook, on the other hand, computed its carbon footprint to 285,000 MT, or metric tones, of greenhouse gases in 2011. Or, that's about 0.000269 MT of greenhouse gases per user, per month.
Here’s the Facebook carbon footprint infographic: