Facebook reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 59% in 2019 as compared to 2017 levels and 86% of their energy requirements are now being met by renewable sources, the company announced in its first sustainability report.
In 2017, the social networking giant had pledged support to the Paris climate agreement and decided to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 75% and use 100% renewable energy for global operations by the end of 2020.
"Now more than ever, businesses need to think not only about managing their operational impact but about working with others to leverage their technical strengths to address sustainability challenges," Rachel Peterson, Vice President of Infrastructure said in a statement.
As part of the impetus on scaling up use of renewable energy, Facebook has also made a direct investment in a 300 MW solar power project in Texas.
Further, the company is using its power resources to help local communities in cities which are trying to reduce their carbon consumption.
A case in point is Odense, Denmark where Facebook has built an infrastructure to capture and deliver heat generated by servers on the data centre and then supply them to the district heating system run by a local heating company. The project is aiming to deliver 1,00,000 MWh of energy per year, which is enough to warm 6,900 homes in adjoining areas. City of Odense is striving to phase out dependence on coal by 2022.
Several tech companies have committed to reduce carbon emissions and scale up use of renewable sources of energy. In 2019, Apple announced that all their offices, retail locations and data centres in 43 countries run on 100% renewable energy. The company also claims that it's products are completely free from harmful chemicals such as mercury, brominated flame retardants, PVC, phthalates and beryllium.
Apple has also reduced their carbon emissions from operations by 64% since 2011, even though the company's energy consumption has increased three times.
Apple's carbon footprint has reduced by 35% since 2015.
According to a study published in the Nature journal, data centers contribute 0.3% to global carbon emissions, while the overall ICT sector accounts for over 2% of emissions. According to another report, energy consumption of data centres is set to grow to 3.2% of global carbon emissions by 2025.