Greenpeace Lays Out 5-Step Plan for Facebook to Ditch Coal Power

With just over three weeks until Earth Day 2011, Greenpeace today continued its efforts to convince Facebook to adopt a policy of clean energy to power its data centers.

The latest moves in Greenpeace's "Unfriend Coal" campaign, which we've been covering for more than a year -- see here, here, and here for some of our coverage -- is hoping to pressure the social network to switch from coal and nuclear power for its data centers and embrace renewable energy technologies like so many of its IT industry peers.

As the world's largest social network, with 600 million members, Facebook is a prime target for the environmental group's campaigns. Although it's far from the most powerful player in IT, Facebook has the dual distinction of having such a large profile while also not committing to green power for its data centers, unlike most of its peers.

I profiled Facebook's green efforts last November, finding that the company is focused on energy efficiency and helping to shift the industry, as well as providing links to green news through its Green on Facebook page, but is building and leasing data center space that's largely powered by coal and nuclear energy.

Prior to this week's news, Greenpeace had focused on coal as the primary dirty energy source, but in the wake of the tragic earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis in Japan, nuclear power has also made an appearance in the Unfriend Coal campaign.

Greenpeace is urging Facebook to pledge to wean itself off of dirty energy by Earth day, and today has posted its latest video in the campaign, which you can watch at the end of this post.

But more helpful is a seven-page media briefing that Greenpeace has created that lays out the scope of Facebook's impacts, as well as five steps the company can take to meet Greenpeace's call to action.