Energy Efficiency just got a lot more social thanks to the efforts by Greenpeace and Facebook, who recently announced a collaboration to “promote renewable energy, encourage major utilities to develop renewable energy generation, and develop programs that will enable Facebook users to save energy and engage their communities in clean energy decisions.”
The partnership came with a bit of arm twisting on the part of Greenpeace, who launched a global Unfriend Coal Campaign nearly two years ago, asking 700,000 online activists to call on Facebook to power its data centers with clean energy instead of coal.
According to TriplePundit.com, the Unfriend Coal Campaign started when Facebook announced the construction of a massive data center in Oregon in February, 2010. This facility was supposed to be very energy efficient, but at the same time receive power from PacifiCorp, whose energy mix is mainly based on coal.
“Facebook’s commitment to renewable energy raises the bar for other IT and cloud computing companies such as Apple, IBM, Microsoft, and Twitter,” said Casey Harrell, Senior IT Analyst for Greenpeace International. ‘‘The Facebook campaign proved that people all over the world want their social networks powered by renewable energy, and not by coal. Greenpeace will continue to measure, report and campaign on the sector’s progress to green the cloud.”
Greenpeace and Facebook have also agreed to develop and promote experiences on the social site that guide people and organizations with ways to save energy and engage their communities in clean energy issues.
If you consider the global reach of tech giants such as Facebook, this news really is a significant win in both the actual actions being taken and the communication and viral sharing possibilities. Facebook’s commitment – along with Google, which claims to run some of the most energy efficient data centers in the world – fully demonstrates an increasing demand and move towards a more responsible and accountable corporate behavior.