Facebook announced Tuesday that it has set a target of powering its global operations with 100% renewable energy by the end of 2020. In addition, it announced a commitment to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 75% in the same time frame.
The social network, along with other tech giants like Google and Apple, consumes a huge amount of electricity to power its data centers. According to Axios, these data centers were responsible for the vast majority of the 2.46 million megawatts of electricity Facebook used last year—an amount that could power more 228,000 average American homes.
What’s more, Facebook’s operations produce considerable emissions: the company was reportedly responsible for 979,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2017, two-thirds of which came from powering these data centers.
Long aware of the consequences of its operations, Facebook had previously set a goal of 25% of its power sourced from renewable energy in 2015 and then 50% by 2018. The company hit the latter target a year early, reaching 51% clean and renewable energy last year.
According to the announcement, Facebook is “on track to be one of the largest corporate purchasers of renewable energy.” It currently has contracts for more than three gigawatts of solar and wind energy, all of which are on the same grid as its data centers.
Tuesday’s targets are part of Facebook’s commitment to combating climate change—the company last year supported the Paris Agreement through the We Are Still In initiative.
Facebook joins other tech giants in its commitment to go green. Apple announced earlier this year that 100% of its global operations are powered by renewable energy. Google met the same target last year.
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