Creating sustainable facilities and employee programs, and engaging in the communities surrounding our offices

Our offices include buildings that we purchased and upgraded, one that we built from the ground up, and leased facilities around the world. From lots of natural light to formaldehyde-free furnishings to a nine-acre green roof at our headquarters to local organic food in our kitchens, we strive to make our offices support the health and productivity of our employees and have a positive impact on surrounding communities.

Sustainable buildings, by design

In 2011, we moved our headquarters to the former Sun Microsystems campus in Menlo Park, California, right on the beautiful San Francisco Bay. We designed our retrofit of the eight buildings to achieve LEED Gold certification for Commercial Interiors. Our improvements include using water-saving fixtures and appliances and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood wherever feasible, LED lighting, high tech lighting controls that reduce lighting demand and a sophisticated energy management system to reduce heating, ventilation and air conditioning loads. The roofs of these buildings support a 1.2-megawatt photovoltaic array.

Creating habitat

The nine-acre green roof at our headquarters features hundreds of trees, including mature oaks, that provide habitat for migrating birds along the Pacific Flyway as well as water-efficient, native plant species that provide habitat and food for pollinators. To design the best possible roof for our flying friends, we consulted key environmental stakeholders including the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society, Native Plant Society, Committee for Green Foothills, Save the Bay, Sierra Club, Citizens Committee to Complete the Refuge and the Fish and Wildlife Service.

The roof also reduces runoff during heavy rain and provides insulation in both winter and summer, eliminating some of the need for heating and cooling. Walking trails and meeting spaces on the roof provide opportunities for employees to spend time outdoors — walking meetings on the roof are common.

All our buildings embody our mantra of “1% finished,” meaning we, as a company, are just getting started on tackling our mission of creating an open and connected world. The resulting minimal design aesthetic reduces the use of finishes and the amount of materials used in our buildings. Picture exposed ceilings, unfinished concrete floors, and unclad columns.

We are now implementing global sustainability standards to help Facebook offices around the world practice resource conservation, purchase clean and renewable energy, reduce waste, and participate in green building certification programs. These standards determine how we design, build, retrofit, and operate our buildings. For example, we buy wood products that are free of urea formaldehyde, select furniture and insulation that do not contain halogenated flame-retardants and choose low emitting furniture, paints, and finishes.

Getting our employees to work

content-image-twoFacebook has a robust transportation program that aims to reduce single-car trips. It includes our employee shuttles, as well as resources for ride-sharing, carpooling, taking public transportation, and biking to work. Close to half of our employees take advantage of alternative commutes daily and we’re always working to grow that number.

Handling waste responsibly

Our waste diversion program — our system for reducing waste going to landfill — is another key focus. Facebook’s waste diversion rate is more than 90% at our Menlo Park headquarters, and the campus features robust recycling and composting programs. Employees are able to separate trash from recycling and compost, and before it leaves campus all waste goes through an additional sorting process to ensure it goes into the right waste stream.

Partnering with communities

Facebook encourages its employees to work in the communities surrounding our operations through volunteering and other ways of giving back. In the sustainability realm, we’ve participated in several initiatives, including:

  • Hosting a weekly farmers market at our Menlo Park headquarters that provides fresh produce to the Belle Haven and East Palo Alto communities.
  • Collaborating with the Menlo Park Rotary Club to build The Belle Haven Community Garden, where families in the community now have access to 25 planting beds that are free to use.
  • Sponsoring solar installations on homes in Belle Haven through our partnership with Menlo Spark and Grid Alternatives.