Facebook has come under a lot of criticism from Greenpeace and other environmental groups for using coal power to operate machinery used to climate control its massive data centers. Facebook and Greenpeace have just released a joint statement wherein the social network says it will have a “preference for access to clean and renewable energy supply”. That seems like its a long way from saying “we’re getting rid of coal” but it was good enough for Greenpeace to get on board (and not in that “climb aboard a tanker from a tiny boat” way that Greenpeace sometimes gets aboard).
Greenpeace will actively support the Facebook-founded Open Compute Project to share energy-efficient data center designs. It will also encourage utilities to give consumers more data on their energy usage, including an Opower-created program that uses Facebook to promote individual energy efficiency and awareness.
"We will be working with Greenpeace to move everyone closer to a world powered by clean and renewable energy, and to use the Facebook platform to engage people on energy and environmental issues," Facebook said on its Green page.
Last year, Facebook launched an "Unfriend Coal" campaign on Facebook to pressure the company to use cleaner sources of power for its data centers. Greenpeace pressures all technology providers, including those that operate giant data centers, to lobby for policies that encourage a cleaner energy system.