Facebook's Latest Green Efforts Focus on Industry, Individuals

Facebook's Latest Green Efforts Focus on Industry, Individuals

When Facebook focuses on anything, it's bound to have a big impact, especially when it promotes that new focus to its half-billion-plus users. And today, the social network launched a new focus on all things green, both within the company and in the broader world.

The public-facing site, Facebook.com/green, offers news and links to green stories around the web (GreenBiz.com has several posts prominently displayed on the page as of this writing), as well as details on the company's own internal green efforts.

And Facebook today also announced its second membership in the past two weeks in industry energy-efficiency associations. Today Facebook joined the Information Technology Industry Council's Digital Energy Solutions Campaign (DESC), a coalition of tech companies and NGOs focused on developing and sharing best practices on energy efficiency.

Last week, Facebook announced that it had joined the Alliance to Save Energy, which partnership will involve using Facebook's reach to help spread the word to businesses and individuals alike about energy efficiency. That partnership also included the launch of a new website sponsored by Dell, LivingEfficiently.org, with much the same focus.

Overall, the three announcements amount to a renewed push by Facebook to both expand its work on green IT and energy efficiency, as well as to strengthen its green reputation. Among the green programs featured on the Facebook Green page is the previously unreported development code Facebook engineers developed. Dubbed "HipHop for PHP," the code has apparently been put to use to reduce Facebook's CPU usage by 50 percent while performing the same amount of work.

Also included are non-IT projects, like Facebook's in-house recycling and composting programs, its water conservation efforts, and its Google-esque subsidized transportation program.

I don't doubt that Facebook is serious about its green initiatives -- it is of course good business, and its membership certainly seems to approve, with over 9,000 fans already on Day One -- but whether the company's green communications will do anything to appease Greenpeace on its ongoing campaign against the social network (or the "So Coal Network," in Greenpeace's parlance), obviously remains to be seen.

I'm working on a behind-the-scenes look at the Facebook Green campaign, and will have more soon. In the meantime, let us know in the comments below what you think about the campaign. And of course, consider liking GreenBiz.com on Facebook...