Editor's note: GreenBiz's Joel Makower first reported on Facebook's disclosure of its greenhouse gas emissions on Aug. 1.
Facebook, a business that relies so heavily on people’s willingness to share information, took an important step recently by sharing some details of its own. The social networking company has, for the first time, released information about its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Facebook used the GHG Protocol’s Corporate Standard for reporting emissions, categorizing them into Scope 1 (direct emissions), scope 2 (emissions from electricity consumption), and scope 3 (all other indirect emissions including, in Facebook’s case, emissions from business travel and the construction of its data centers). Measuring GHG emissions is a crucial first step for any company seeking to manage and reduce its climate change impact.
Facebook’s GHG Inventory
Here are some of the key figures from Facebook’s GHG inventory:
- Total Emissions (scope 1, 2, and part of scope 3): 285,000 metric tons (roughly the equivalent to the annual emissions from 56,000 cars)
- Percentage of Total Emissions Due to Data Centers: 72 percent
- Energy Mix: 27 percent coal, 23 percent “clean and renewable,” 17 percent natural gas, 13 percent nuclear, and 20 percent uncategorized (i.e. energy that’s purchased by utilities on the financial market and can include any or all of the above categories)
- Energy Goal: 25 percent of energy coming from clean and renewable sources by 2015
Photo of social network provided by Verticalarray via Shutterstock
Next page: What do these figures mean?