Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has been known as one of the more socially and environmentally conscious tech companies for several years now, mainly from feedback and posts from users but also from some of the varied work that CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other executives have advocated in recent years. Facebook has promoted blood drives and steps to corral climate change. It has even developed its own case in the later by building a data center in Sweden (why that matters was covered here).
While the science of climate change is controversial and politicized, the concept of emissions has been in a high-profile state for many years. Most companies work diligently to be inside the guidelines for efficient emissions set by the EPA, and tech company data centers like what Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has are no exception. And many companies are looking for ways to make their data centers more energy-efficient. And it seems that Facebook, especially, is in dire need for more efficiency, as the latest report on energy emissions came out for the 2012 calendar year, and Facebook showed a growing appetite for energy and leaving a much larger carbon footprint.
But while there is bad news in the recent past for Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), there is some potential good news for the near future when it comes to reducing those carbon emissions. First, there is the bad news – according to data from Facebook’s own annual report about energy use and emissions, the company reported 384,000 metric tons of carbon-dioxide emissions last year, up nearly 40 percent from 2011, while the company’s total energy use was up 35 percent to more than 700 million kilowatt-hours.
Following that sobering report, there is this good piece of news – there is definite hope for tech companies if they just do a little bit of energy analysis. According to a study conducted by Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) in conjunction with several other firms, it was determined that electricity market analytics – where companies take advantage of times of day with low-energy demand combined with the greatest opportunities for renewable-energy generation (wind, solar, hydroelectric, etc.) – could lower data-center emissions by as much as 99 percent. What might this mean?