Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) apparently just can’t catch a break. The company went to great lengths to secure the site for it latest data center to go online – the new facility in Sweden that opened this week, which we reported here yesterday – which included careful study about how to utilize renewable energy sources to minimize the company’s carbon footprint. Of course, we don’t exactly know whether Facebook developed this philosophy on its own, or was it in response to environmentalist groups like Greenpeace, which has a record for giving less-than-favorable comments about data centers that are run on “non-renewable” energy sources like coal or gas. We do understand that the other two data centers Facebook has running currently are both run on coal-generated electricity.
Perhaps looking for any excuse to get in the press, Greenpeace has accomplished it Thursday (You’re welcome guys) when it submitted a statement that is both a compliment and a criticism. And frankly, we are befuddled. On the one hand, Greenpeace is giving praise to Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) for building and running a data center that will be powered by fully renewable hydroelectric power. But, Greenpeace turned right around in the statement by saying that Facebook didn’t make the right choice in terms of the utility provider of that hydroelectric energy. Um, what?
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) took great steps to produce the data center in Lulea, Sweden, to be eco-friendly as much as possible, and using fully renewable energy seems like Facebook could not do much better. In one sense Greenpeace agreed when it wrote in a statement, “Greenpeace welcomes the news that Facebook’s first coal-free data center in Sweden has begun operations, an important sign that Facebook is making progress on its commitment to unfriend coal.”
That was a nice, positive sentiment.But that’s where Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) probably should have stopped reading. Shortly after that platitude, there was this judgment of Facebook’s choice of partner: “However, Greenpeace is disappointed to learn that given the choice of energy providers for Lulea, Facebook has not immediately opted for a 100% renewable energy provider, instead choosing the giant utility Vattenfall, which still invests primarily in non-renewable energy.”
So, it isn’t enough that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is able to use fully renewable energy, but it had to be from a company that uses fully-renewable energy sources?