In the spirit of transparency and such, Facebook has decided to share some figures on how the company affects the environment. Today, Facebook is releasing data about their 2011 carbon footprint and energy use.
It's interesting to find out that any given Facebook user stamps a carbon footprint (greenhouse gas emissions) of 269 grams. Given that Facebook just announced 955 monthly active users, we can calculate that the total worldwide carbon footprint of Facebook use is about 256.8 billion grams a year (256,800 metric tons). Facebook says, however, that when you include everything (data centers, office space, employee commuting, employee air travel, data center construction and server transportation), their total carbon footprint for 2011 was about 285,000 metric tons.
The individual footprint of 269 is roughly equivalent to that of making and consuming a couple glasses of wine, three bananas, or one medium latte.
Facebook has also released their total energy use from offices, data centers, and other facilities for 2011, and it clocks in at 532 million kWh.
Also part of this release: Facebook's energy mix, nearly one-quarter of which came from clean and renewable energy.
"In the short-term, reducing our impact and significantly altering our energy mix will be challenging," says Facebook. "The reality is that as a fast-growing company our carbon footprint and energy mix may get worse before they get better. When we bring our Lulea, Sweden, data center online in 2014, we expect to see a steady increase in the clean and renewable sources powering our data center operations. And we’ve set a company goal to derive at least 25% of our energy mix from clean and renewable sources by 2015. We know this is going to be a stretch for us, and we’re still figuring out exactly what it will take to get there.
Our goal is to understand where we have the most opportunity—and responsibility—to minimize our long-term environmental impact."[Lead image via Kansir, Flickr]