Facebook

RATING

SECTOR

Technology

WEBSITE

CONTACT

1601 Willow Rd., Menlo Park,

CA 94025, United States

STOCK EXCHANGE

LISTING

EMPLOYEES

44,942

CHIEF SUSTAINABILITY OFFICER

Edward Palmieri

AWARDS

N/A

CONTENT SOURCE

FURTHER READING

Report created by Muge Acar 

Facebook

SECTIONS :  Sustainability    Evaluation  •  Progress  •  Watch  •  Overview

Company Activity

Facebook, Inc. (stylized as FACEBOOK) is an American social media conglomerate corporation based in California. 

Facebook, Inc. operates as a social networking company worldwide. The company engages in the development of social media applications for people to connect through mobile devices, personal computers, and other surfaces. It enables users to share opinions, ideas, photos, videos, and other activities online.

The firm’s products include Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp, and Oculus. The company was founded by Mark Elliot Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz, Chris R. Hughes, Andrew McCollum, and Eduardo P. Saverin on February 4, 2004, and is headquartered in Menlo Park, CA.

Company Sustainability Activity

According to Facebook, climate change is one of the most urgent issues facing the world today. They’re working to minimize their energy consumption from non-renewable sources, emissions and water impact, protection of workers and the environment in their supply chain, and partner with others to develop and share science-driven solutions.

Facebook launched the Climate Science Information Center to connect their community with factual resources from the world’s leading climate organizations and experts, as well as show people how they can reduce their environmental impact. Through these efforts, they hope to drive more awareness around this issue and spur climate action.

Highlights

  • Achieved a 59% reduction in operational GHG emission from 2017 to 2019
  • Achieved 86% renewable energy used for their operations and have 1.3 gigawatts of wind and solar projects online in 2019
  • In 2019, contracted 4 new water restoration projects that will restore 206,000 cubic meters of water per year in their centre communities
  • Launched the Climate Conversation Map to provide partners with information to advance climate action, helping them understand how engagement around climate-related news conversion works throughout the world and overtime
  • World Water Week partner in 2019, raised more than 500 water stewardship practitioners on ways to optimize Facebook’s capabilities
  • Issued annual Anti-Slavery Human Trafficking Statement
  • 4 of Facebook’s data centre buildings in the US earned LEED Gold Certification
  • Their building in Lulea Sweden earned LEED Platinum (highest possible ranking)

Targets

REDUCING ENVIRONMENTAL FOOTPRINT 

  • Reducing operational (scope 1 and 2) greenhouse gas emissions by 75% by 2020 compared to 2017 baseline (616,000 metric tons of CO2)
  • Achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2030 across their value chain
  • Support their global operations with 100% renewable energy from 2020 onward
  • Include circular thinking in their hardware production

CLIMATE CHANGE

  • Aim to form partnerships designed to drive change, address and adapt to the impacts of climate change

HEALTH AND SAFETY

  • Strive to ensure safe, healthy and fair working conditions for all workers while minimizing environmental footprint

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT 

  • Committed to continuing strengthening renewable energy markets around the world and supporting clean energy transition
  • Aim to increase access to renewable energy resources for other companies and organizations through green tariffs

CONSERVING WATER

  • Aim to minimize water usage

Progress

REDUCING ENVIRONMENTAL FOOTPRINT

  • By 2018 reduced 42% emissions despite growth in business
  • As of 2019 raised the reduction to 59% with a total of 251,000 metric CO2 emission.
  • Annual emissions of the average person on the platform are less than the carbon impact of making one cup of black coffee.
  • In 2019 climate risk portfolio grew to 260 total sites (data centres, offices supplier locations).
  • In 2019 Facebook offset more than 100,000 metric tons of carbon emissions.
  • In 2019 first time Facebook offsets emissions from employee business travel for some teams and air travel to 11 major internal events:
    → Menlo Park HQ is supported by 100% renewable energy.
    → Recognized as #1 corporate buyer of renewable energy in the U.S. by Energy.                → Buyers Alliance and #2 in the world by Bloomberg NEF.
    → By the end of 2019, had more than 5 GW of renewable energy projects under contract and over 1.3 GW of projects online generating clean electricity supporting the company’s operations globally.
    → In 2019 contracted 1.7 GW of new renewable energy projects. 
    → Contributed to local communities by adding new renewable energy capacity, operations benefited local communities by contributing to the region’s efforts to address environmental challenges.
    → Committed to their 1st direct investment in a renewable energy project with 300 MW Prospero Solar Project in Texas.
    → Executed 1 GW of contracts in partnerships with four local utility providers (Dominion Energy, Rocky Mountain Power, Pacific Power, Walton Electric Membership Corporation).
    → In 2019 the first solar project began operating with 675 employees, creating additional 20 long terms, high-value jobs in a rural, economically distressed county
    By the end of 2019 86% of Facebook’s overall electricity mix was made up of renewable energy.
  • Reducing Waste
    Promoted a zero-waste culture and recycled 96% of the waste generated in the first 3 years in their data centre in Clonee Ireland.
  • Won Ireland’s Green Construction Award
    Had an average PUE (power usage effectiveness) if 1.11 since 2014 (optimal PUE being 1.0).
  • In Menlo Park HQ over 90% of their waste is recycled and composted.

CLIMATE CHANGE

  • Supporting “We Are Still In” coalition, H.R. 9 bill, 116th Congress (2019-2020): Climate Action Now.
  • Participated in the UN’s annual session of Conference of Parties in 2019.
  • Participated in Greenpeace’s Clicking Clean Initiative and received “A” rating for their efforts to accelerate the global transition to a greener internet.
  • In 2014 debuted Safety Check to allow Facebook users to let their network know they are safe while in a crisis zone during natural disasters.
  • In 2017 their Data for Good team launched Disaster Maps to help first responders and humanitarian organizations quickly access the impact of natural disasters.
  • In 2019 began developing Facebook Climate Conversation Map (provides organizations with information to advocate climate action).
  • In 2019 hosted their first Sustainability Hackathon
    In 2019 raised $2 billion in support of nonprofits.
  • In 2015 partnered with United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
  • In 2019 partnered with UNFCCC during COP25
    Continue to fulfil the spirit of Paris Climate Agreement

HEALTH AND SAFETY

  • Developed a framework of standards to their supplier businesses through adapting the Responsible Alliance Code of Conduct.
  • To enhance the well-being of workers partnered closely with their priority suppliers in 2019.
  • Progressed in advancing visibility into social and environmental issues in their supply chains.
  • In 2019 launched a program to ensure suppliers are ready to face climate risks.
  • In 2019 filed annual Conflict Minerals disclosure and issued Anti-slavery and Human Trafficking Statement.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

  • Between 2015-2018 supported 1,461 construction and operational jobs per year in Sweden data center, 1,843 jobs in Denmark data center.
  • Spent 599 million euros locally for Danish goods and services
  • Co-founded Open Compute Project in 2011:
    → Leading technology innovators to share their product and designs to inspire more transparency
  • In 2015 completed construction of a 9-acre green roof in Menlo Park HQ.
  • Delivering nearly 30,000 meals every week to local charities.
  • 40% of employees took alternative commute option to work in 2019.
  • 50% reduction of single-use water bottles among their employees globally.

CONSERVING WATER

  • Installed water-efficient systems in their kitchens and bathrooms and re-using rainwater where it’s feasible.
  • In 2019 began piloting an optimization program to reduce the amount of water used for humidification.
    → In New Mexico, data center yielded 40% water savings.
  • Launched a first district-scale blackwater treatment system in California.
    → Landscaping water to their 2 new buildings comes from their filtered and retreated water
  • In 2019 the company’s total water saving was 11 million cubic meters.
  • Their water data is verified by Apex Companies, LLC.
  • In 2019 invested in 4 new water restoration projects in New Mexico and Oregon and restored 206,000 cubic meters/year of water in their data center communities (total of 683,000 cubic meters/year of water).
  • Completed infrastructure utility restoration project that will reuse water wastewater in 2020 in parks in Utah and New Mexico.
  • Partnered up with Audubon Society and The Nature Conservancy.
  • Contributed to an Aquifer Storage and Recovery Project to bring stored water to Prineville Oregon
  • Supported Volumetric Benefit Accounting Methodology and Guidance for Calculating Water Use Embedded in Electricity Purchasing.
  • Became a Member of Aqueduct Alliance

Certificates

  • Leed Platinum certified at their US HQ and their office in Lulea, Sweden
  • Leed Gold certified at 4 of their data centre in the US 
  • ISO 50001 at their UK and Irish offices

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDGs Compliance

SDG 6

  • By reducing their water waste and re-using waste-water they are aiming to have more sustainable management of water in their business

SDG 7

  • They are working on using renewable energy as much as they can especially in their HQ in California and aiming to reduce their carbon footprint

 SDG 9

  • They are promoting sustainable work ethics in their supplier businesses and using sustainable methods in their hardware production too

SDG 12

  • They improve the life-cycle impacts of their products by promoting recycling, reducing waste and reusing waste and rainwater

SDG 13

  • Their energy-efficiency programs in their operations and their support and collaborations with other organizations promote climate action

Secondary SDGs : 2, 3, 8, 10, 15, 16, 17

Evaluation

Facebook engages in sustainability activities and promotes a healthier and greener infrastructure. Despite producing significant amounts of CO2 each year, the company reduced their GHG emissions by 59%. In addition, Facebook has also been adapting their offices to LEED standards to meet their goal of reducing their environmental footprint. 

Facebook is compliant with few UN Sustainable Development Goals. The company has minimal listings and certificates. The company would benefit from specifying their complacency with their targets and initiatives. While Facebook is working towards transparency as a company, their large scale prohibits them from doing so. For these reason, Facebook has been rated a C.

Analyst Outlook: Neutral

Facebook is working towards transparency and has invested heavily in renewable energy. However, concerns regarding data, privacy, and distribution of inaccurate information is questionable. 

Key Points

  • Facebook is one of the world’s largest buyers of renewable energy, investing in wind farms and solar arrays
  • Goals and alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals are vague
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