Facebook hits renewable energy goal ahead of Earth Day

Facebook social media app

James Martin/CNET

Facebook said Thursday that since 2020, all its operations have been fully supported by renewable energy, hitting a goal the social media giant set in 2018 to combat climate change.

The social network made the announcement ahead of Earth Day, an annual event on April 22 that focuses on environmental protection. The milestone shows what tech firms are doing to offset the harmful impacts they have on the environment as they make new devices and power data centers amid a growing appetite for tech products. For years, environmental groups such as Greenpeace have been putting increasing pressure on businesses like Facebook to become more eco-friendly. 

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Facebook also said its operations reached “net zero emissions,” which the company says means “removing the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere as we emit.” These emissions contribute to some pollution and a warmer climate, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency. The social network said in the last three years, it cut down on its greenhouse gas emissions by 94%, surpassing its 75% reduction goal. Some of the emissions Facebook reduced came from its data centers, offices and other buildings the company leases.

Facebook still has a goal to reach net zero emissions by 2030 for the business activities needed to produce its products such as its video chat device Portal. Some of those activities include include business travel and hardware manufacturing.

Facebook also said it’s involved in various partnerships to support Earth Day. And through the social network’s community help feature, Facebook users will be able to sign up for volunteer activities such as picking up trash at a park or planting a tree. The company also has a hub for climate and science information, and a virtual event for Earth Day will be streamed there at 9 a.m. PT on April 22.

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