Facebook announced recently that they are committing to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions by 75% and powering their global operations with 100% renewable energy by the end of 2020. In a record-breaking year of corporate renewable energy purchases, Facebook is supposedly on track to be one of the largest corporate purchasers of renewable energy. Since their first purchase of wind power in 2013, Facebook has signed contracts for over 3 gigawatts of new solar and wind energy, that includes over 2,500 megawatts in just the past 12 months.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg had reaffirmed Facebook’s place among business leaders in the race to be coal-free and 100% renewable-powered. If we are to stay within the 1.5 degree threshold that scientists say is crucial to avoid catastrophic climate change, we need many more companies stepping up to adopt aggressive renewable energy and greenhouse gas reduction goals.
The company stated, "We are proud of the impact our renewable energy program is having on local communities and the market in general. All of these wind and solar projects are new and on the same grid as our data centers. That means that each of these projects brings jobs, investment and a healthier environment to the communities that host us — from Prineville, Oregon, and Los Lunas, New Mexico, to Henrico, Virginia, and Luleå, Sweden. We bring an open and innovative approach to finding renewable energy solutions that fit our needs and can move energy markets forward.
We do this by working to enable access to renewable energy resources for other companies and organizations by building infrastructure, opening projects to other buyers or establishing green tariffs, which allow customers to buy renewable energy from their local utilities." In 2015, Facebook set a goal of supporting 50% of their facilities with renewable energy by 2018. They achieved that goal a year early, reaching 51% clean and renewable energy in 2017. Last year, Facebook pledged its support for climate action by supporting the Paris Agreement through the We Are Still In initiative.
The targets they are sharing are part of that promise. According to sources, Facebook stated, “We work with utilities, renewable energy developers and industry groups to share our learnings and approaches with other companies. When doing so, we bring an open and innovative approach to finding renewable energy solutions that fit our needs and can move energy markets forward."
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