Facebook says it has reached its target to power its global operations entirely on renewable energy, though it fell shy of its end of 2020 deadline. The company is now focusing its efforts on the broader goal of reaching net-zero emissions across its entire “value chain” by 2030, including suppliers and business activities like travel and employee commuting.
Facebook first announced its 100 percent renewable energy push in 2018 as Big Tech attempted to offset the environmental impact from ballooning business amid a global push to tackle climate change. Two years earlier, the Paris Climate Agreement saw 143 countries pledge to keep global temperatures well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and ideally to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Google, Microsoft, Apple and Amazon have all adopted environmental targets and spent billions purchasing renewable energy to eliminate carbon-emitting generation. But, their unbridled growth — along with pressure from investors tracking environmental, social and governance scores — means maintaining those commitments will be a fine balancing act.
For its part, Facebook has poured $8 billion into green energy projects including 63 new wind and solar power plants. The social network has contracts in place for more than 6 GW of wind and solar energy, which is slightly less than Amazon’s 6.5 GW investment, making the online retailer the world’s largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy. Facebook’s milestone fittingly coincides with Earth Day. To mark the event, it is launching volunteering sign-ups for environmental organizations on its eponymous social network.