Facebook Makes Peace With Greenpeace

By David Cohen Comment

Facebook and Greenpeace have made their peace, with the social network and the environmental organization releasing a joint statement Thursday and vowing to work together.

The two parties have clashed in the past, although Greenpeace said in April that Facebook’s energy initiatives were a step in the right direction, but not enough, specifically pointing out its use of coal and nuclear power to fuel its server farm.

The social network said in the joint statement:

Facebook is committed to supporting the development of clean and renewable sources of energy, and our goal is to power all of our operations with clean and renewable energy. Building on our leadership in energy efficiency (through the Open Compute Project), we are working in partnership with Greenpeace and others to create a world that is highly efficient and powered by clean and renewable energy.

Facebook promised to:

  • Adopt a siting policy that states a preference for access to clean and renewable energy supply;
  • Conduct ongoing research into energy efficiency and the open sharing of that technology through the Open Compute Project; and
  • Engage in a dialogue with its utility providers about increasing the supply of clean energy to power its data centers.

For its part, Greenpeace pledged to:

  • Actively support the Open Compute Project, including encouraging companies to join the effort, use the technology, and share their efficiency technology;
  • Encourage utility providers to offer ways for customers to get their utility data, including by joining the partnership with Opower, Facebook, and the Natural Resources Defense Council; and
  • Recognize company leadership in advancing best practices in efficiency or sustainability technology through the open-source sharing of design and technology advances.

Finally, Facebook and Greenpeace together promised to:

  • Work together to develop and promote experiences on Facebook that help people and organizations connect with ways to save energy and engage their communities in clean energy issues;
  • Co-host roundtables and discussions with experts on energy issues; and
  • Jointly engage other large energy users and producers to address the energy choice they are facing and develop new clean energy, rather than recommissioning coal plants or building new coal plants.

Readers: Are you optimistic that this is a step in the right direction for Facebook and Greenpeace?