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How Your Facebook Usage Affects Our Planet

Do you use facebook? Yep, I figured as much. Just thought you might like to know, that in Facebook’s eyes, you are more or less the equivalent of a latte.

Or three bananas.

Or a couple glasses of wine. (Preferably red. Barolo, anyone?)

Facebook Carbon Footprint Infographic

At least when it comes to Facebook’s carbon footprint, that is. For whatever reason, Facebook has decided to clue us all into their energy usage in 2011. Here’s how it plays out:

Each user — that’s you and me — accounts for 269 grams of Facebook’s annual carbon footprint. (We’ve been reduced to mere grams, oh my!). Facebook has 950 MILLION USERS. That’s a heck of a lot of socializing going on.

The carbon footprint comprises greenhouse gas emissions from data centers (including their construction and server transport), office space, employee commuting and air travel.

Their breakdown of energy sources reflects:

23% renewable
27% coal
17% natural gas
13% nuclear
20% “uncategorized” (could be any or all of the above)


Here’s the infographic for your viewing pleasure:

Facebook Energy Mix Infographic

It’s also worth noting that Facebook has a page dedicated to entirely to environmental awareness and stewardship. (Is there anything they don’t do?)
Go on, check it out:

Despite being compared to a bundle of bananas, overall we think this a very worthwhile effort on Facebook’s part. It forces us all to consider that just because a company is entirely internet-based does not mean it does not come with some environmental cost. Further, as we say in marketing, you can’t measure what you don’t track, and this will help keep Facebook accountable for their actions moving forward — and the potential impact they can have on the environment. With that, one can only hope that they’ll use their hugely powerful voice to influence their users to do the same.

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