Greenpeace Protests Facebook’s Data Center

Environmentalists ask company to "unfriend coal"

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Facebook’s won the support of a lot of people as it builds a data center in Prineville, Oregon; an official Facebook Page is full of positive comments from locals.  However, because the facility will primarily be powered by coal, Greenpeace – along with around 500,000 individuals – has sided against it.

A campaign to "get Facebook to unfriend coal" has been building momentum for some time, and it appears to have reached a critical mass of sorts today.  Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director of Greenpeace International, actually published an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg this morning.

In it, Naidoo stated, "Greenpeace and over half a million Facebook users have expressed significant concerns with your decision to power this data center with dirty coal-fired electricity from PacificCorp, which runs an electricity mix that is disproportionately powered by coal, the largest source of global warming pollution."

Naidoo would prefer it if Zuckerberg and Facebook would "[c]ommit to a plan to phase out the use of dirty coal-fired electricity to power your data centers" and "[u]se your purchasing power to choose locations that allow you to rely on only clean, renewable sources of electricity," instead.

These requests aren’t likely to have much effect in the short term; the Prineville data center is already under construction and Facebook hasn’t announced plans to build anything else.  Still, it’s possible Greenpeace and its supporters will influence the social network to be a little more Google-y in the future, turning to solar and wind power.

Also, in fairness to Facebook, the company’s already taken the issue of energy conservation into consideration to some degree.  On August 20th, a post on the Prineville Data Center page detailed several power-saving technologies that the facility will employ.

UPDATE: Barry Schnitt, director of policy communications at Facebook, left a comment further describing his company’s stance on environmental responsibility and energy conservation.

Greenpeace Protests Facebook’s Data Center
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  • Guest

    …the colossal jerks that run faceb**k or the p*ssy do-nothings at corporation greenpe@ce…

    I boycott faceb**k and support the Sea Shepherds…

    I guess FB and GP probably don’t like me much then either… lol :D

  • Barry Schnitt

    We agree that environmental responsibility is important and we are committed to it as a company. In addition, we are proud that our service is used by more than 500 million people around the world to connect and interact in place of many more carbon-intensive activities such as air travel and postal mail.

    Overall, we’re thrilled at our choice in Oregon and we’re challenging the industry to meet the standards we

    • Guest

      this bs sounds suspiciously like a political “attack ad”, barry boy.

      like trying to take the negative attn off yourself and “blame” someone else. yeah, you really should’ve had your pr ppl keep it a bit briefer. I only skimmed it and could clearly smell the bs oozing from each paragraph. I was just hoping not to get any on me… ewwww.

      two piece of crap companies duking it out for publicity… oh goodie.

      old news… really, couldn’t your ppl have come up with a better speech than that?

      fb’s rep is slithering further and further down the toilet drain and heading quickly towards the sewer. perhaps you should go sue some more teachers? firemen? police? how about our military men and women? then you can top it off with some nurses and get on meg whitman’s dinner party list. that should work wonders for your image. she’s as big of a lying, greedy p.o.s. as you are.

      500 million users, my a$$… those are only the ppl who were dumb enough to sign up, only to realize immediately that fb is a ridiculous joke, so they quickly departed, but fb won’t allow them to close their acct.

      But I guess you have to feed some sort of fabricated, inflated numbers to the bs machine on wall street come quarterly reports though, eh barry?

      • Bob

        Al, easy easy… put the gun down Al. Nobody has to get hurt. You are a good person… you are just having a terrible moment just like we all do… put the gun down and give it to me… just do it slowly so nobody gets hurt… that is.. I got you a new puppy Al… He loves you… he doesn’t want to see anybody get hurt… we all have our breaking points… yes, slowly give it to me… give me the gun… good boy…

        Barry, excuse my brother here. He is supposed to be locked in the closet but somehow got out.

        • Guest

          Please forgive bob, there is no cure for stupid.

  • http://www.politicalchristian.org/wordpress Larry Miller

    It’s amazing how these enviros are so upset about the non-existent issue of man made global warming. They are not the problem as in the US, we still have some measure of free speech. However those of us who actually give credence to their nonsense and act on it are the problem… like the Discovery Channel nutcase. He was a true believer and look what happened.

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