NEW YORK (The Blaze/AP) — For two years, Greenpeace has used Facebook's own platform to run a campaign -- Unfriend Coal -- against the company to switch to clean energy. Now, Facebook has formally announced it would work with Greenpeace to use alternative energy at its data centers instead of coal.
Greenpeace and Facebook said Thursday that they will work together to encourage the use of renewable energy instead of coal. Last year, Facebook opened a data center in Prineville, Ore., using the area's cool nights and dry air to save energy while keeping its systems from overheating. It also received generous tax breaks for adding jobs to the economically struggling region.
But Greenpeace wasn't happy that Facebook picked a power company that generates most of its electricity from coal to power the data center. It started a campaign to get the social network operator to use renewable energy. It attracted some 700,000 supporters on Facebook. Greenpeace said it was ending the campaign and declared victory on its "Unfriend Coal" Facebook page.
The page has more than 180,000 followers.
Facebook says it will work with the group to promote clean, renewable energy and encourage other technology companies to do the same. The company said it will now state a "preference for access to clean and renewable energy" when choosing where to build its data centers. But it stopped short of saying it will only build on such sites.
Clean energy has also been big issue for Facebook's Silicon Valley Google Inc. The online search leader has been trying to prove that its business model is environmentally friendly and recently revealed exactly how much electricity it uses (2.3 kilowatt-hours of electricity last year, about the same as what 207,000 U.S. homes would use in a year). It has also invested nearly $1 billion in renewable energy projects such as wind farms and solar projects.
Watch Greenpeace's short on the campaign's victory where it suggests a similar change to Twitter and Widows:
PC World reports that the campaign estimated Facebook's energy use was 53.2 percent from coal. It notes that Apple's coal produced energy accounts for about 54.5 percent of its use, Google 34.7 percent and Amazon 28.5 percent. Wired notes that last year Greenpeace issued Facebook an F on its Clean Cloud Power Report Card.