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Facebook Catches the Green Bug

Truce with Greenpeace to Save Energy

Written by Brianna Panzica
Posted December 16, 2011 at 9:32PM

Facebook, the immensely popular social networking website started by then-college student Mark Zuckerberg, has come to an agreement with environmentalists.

Greenpeace was less than happy when Facebook started a data center in Prineville, Oregon, powered by a company that uses coal as its main fuel source.

According to, Facebook had good intentions in choosing the site.  The temperature, especially during cool nights, would prevent overheating and overall reduce the company’s energy usage.

But Greenpeace would not let Facebook claim green.  The use of coal would more than counter the energy-saving effects of cool nights. 

So Greenpeace started a group on Facebook, which it called “Unfriend Coal,” to protest the action, says

This group ended up with the favor of around 700,000 Facebook users.

Now, the two have reached a truce, and Facebook has agreed to move toward renewables and energy efficiency in its future data centers.

Facebook has even gone as far as announcing OCP, or Open Compute Project—a joint effort with Greenpeace.

In OCP, Facebook will build a new data center that, according to the India Times, will be 38% more efficient in energy usage and be 24% cheaper than the average Internet data center.

Greenpeace is happy with this new plan, which could begin a move in the industry toward more energy efficient centers.

According to the India Times, if just a quarter of data centers switched to this new plan, it would save the energy equivalent of 160,000 homes.

As Tzeporah Berman of Greenpeace told Mirror:

“This move sets an example for the industry to follow.  This shift to clean, safe energy choices will help fight global warming and ensure a stronger economy and healthier communities.”

Facbook is currently preparing to file for initial public offering in the second quarter of 2012.

PAB News says that it is possible Facebook will raise as much as $10 billion in its IPO.

That’s all for now,


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