Culture

Greenpeace Challenges Facebook to Go Green by Earth Day

Greenpeace has launched a worldwide campaign asking Facebook to ‘Go Green’ by pledging to switch to clean energy, and it wants your help to make it happen.

The world’s environmental watchdog has launched a massive pressure campaign aptly titled ‘Facebook: Unfriend Coal’ asking Facebook to commit to becoming 100% coal free by 2021. They also want Zuckerberg to announce Facebook’s commitment to this effect by Earth Day (April 22nd).

In February 2010, Greenpeace approached Facebook urging the company to design their new data centers (in Oregon, USA) to run off clean energy. They set a deadline of April 22nd 2011 for Facebook to commit to doing so. Facebook hasn’t made any such commitments so far.

So this month, in a well-executed online+offline campaign, Greenpeace is calling upon all its supporters, as well as friends of supporters to comment on their Unfriend Coal Facebook Wall in support of Facebook’s use of friendlier energy sources like wind and solar to power its new data centers.

From the Greenpeace campaign website:

Facebook announced in February 2010 that it is building a massive data centre in Oregon, U.S., but the company plans to run the place on electricity made by burning coal — Yes, the dirtiest source of energy and largest single source of global warming pollution in the world.

Facebook can control where it builds its infrastructure; the power purchasing agreements it enters into; and how it uses its brand’s power to promote clean energy. It can make a commitment to phase out coal and show the rest of the IT sector that it can be done.

John Lennon <3 clean energy. Do you FB? Greenpeace already set a world record by registering 80,000 comments within 24 hours in support of their Campaign. Thats not all. Greenpeace is bringing all these comments right to Facebook’s doorstep by displaying the comments on a large scrolling screen in front of Facebook HQ.

Coal Plants Shutting Down?

In an interesting side development today, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the biggest public power company in the US agreed to shut down 18 coal-fired power plants after a prolonged legal battle with various environmental bodies. They will be replacing coal-fired plants with low-emission or zero-emission electricity sources, including renewable energy, natural gas, and nuclear power.

The timing of the decision does come at a great time for Greenpeace who could leverage this to further pressure Facebook into making a clean energy commitment before Earth Day.

Facebook on the other hand should consider that coal-fired power plants may start to phase out very quickly in the future, once world opinion gathers momentum. In the interests of protecting their investment it may be a wise idea to consider Greenpeace’s suggestions more seriously.

Check out the video below, and visit www.facebook.com/unfriendcoal to participate in the campaign