We are proud to design, build, and operate some of the most sustainable workplaces in the world.
At Facebook, enhancing employee well-being and maintaining sustainable workplaces are key aspects to the way in which we operate our facilities. Our workplace sustainability philosophy is centered around occupant health, resource efficiency, and responsible supply chain management.
To achieve this, we implement stringent sustainability standards, as well as follow third-party green building certifications, when designing and operating our global facilities. We aim to achieve LEED Gold certification at our larger offices globally—and strive beyond that where possible, including earning LEED Platinum at our Menlo Park headquarters, with pursuit underway at additional locations across the U.S., U.K., Brazil, and India. In 2020, we completed our first offices slated for WELL and Fitwel® certification—two industry frameworks focused on promoting the health and wellbeing of building occupants. Beyond this, we continued to ensure that our major EMEA campuses continuously drive energy efficiency by achieving ISO 50001 Certification.
A key way Facebook is able to meet these rigorous industry standards is through our Healthy and Sustainable Materials Program. Since first introducing the program in 2013, we have ensured that the building materials and furnishings used within our facilities meet the highest standards for health and environmental impact. The program focuses on ingredient disclosure, reducing embodied carbon, and avoidance of worst-in-class “chemicals of concern,” such as certain phthalates, flame retardants, heavy metals, and fluorinated chemicals. The program serves as an important foundation for how we promote sustainability through responsible procurement practices.
In an effort to further align our facility operations to our broader net zero emissions commitment, in 2020 we mapped out a 2030 Workplace Carbon Reduction Action Plan. Over the next 10 years, the plan aims to deliver a 50 percent carbon reduction across our workplaces’ top contribution to GHG emissions, including: electricity use, natural gas use, waste generation, employee commute, food consumed on-site, and the embodied carbon of our building materials. As part of this strategy, we will reduce our carbon impact through projects such as energy efficiency upgrades, installing on-site renewables, integrating circular economic practices to reduce waste, and delivering low-impact commute solutions.
Reducing our workplace resource consumption in 2020
Average design energy use reduction
Average design water use reduction
Average construction waste recycling rate
Supporting Local Community Environments
We are committed to helping build and preserve strong, resilient communities in the places we call home by actively engaging with our neighbors and making investments that support community needs and align with our core values. In addition to supporting investments in data center communities, local teams at our global offices leverage Facebook’s resources to drive a positive impact on communities across key pillars of economic opportunity, food and housing access, and environmental sustainability.
One example of our efforts to support community environmental stewardship is our partnership with GRID Alternatives, a California-based nonprofit installing solar systems on homes in underserved communities. To date, we have provided grants to install 80 photovoltaic systems in communities near our Menlo Park headquarters in California, which are expected to help avoid 3,370 tons of GHG emissions over their lifetime and help reduce energy bills for under-resourced families. Over the past three years, we have also partnered with Build It Green and Franklin Energy in the San Francisco Bay Area through the Healthy Home Connect initiative, which uses multiple funding sources to deliver energy and healthy home upgrades to benefit the community’s most vulnerable populations.
Additionally in 2020, we supported the construction of the Ravenswood Bay Trail, a project by Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, to help close a critical gap in the otherwise continuous, 80-mile section of the Bay Trail in the San Francisco Bay Area. This new trail segment increases community access to the bayfront, is a setting for wildlife viewing and environmental education, as well as provides a commute alternative for cyclists.
Changing How We Engage Employees
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, our employees remained engaged during key internal moments. We are so grateful for our global teams and internal Green@ chapters for their commitment and support in advancing Facebook’s sustainability commitments.
As our employees adjusted to working remotely in 2020, we launched our Sustainability@Home educational program to provide resources on leading a more sustainable lifestyle. The program included an educational video series highlighting actionable steps employees can take to reduce their personal carbon footprint, as well as strategies to promote wellbeing while working from home.
Last year, we held our two largest events—Earth Week and Sustainability Summit—virtually on Workplace, increasing accessibility to our global employee base. Over five days during Earth Week, we hosted 68 virtual events, posts, and livestreams to celebrate Facebook’s sustainability commitments and activate our employee base. To develop Earth Week content, we drew from the expertise of our global sustainability community, including members from 27 teams across 23 offices on three continents. By streaming all content through our internal Sustainability channels, we increased global awareness of this celebration—with over 7,100 viewers tuning in to the livestreams.
In September 2020, we launched a new internal sustainability event to align with UNGA/Climate Week: our inaugural Sustainability Summit. The goal of this one-day virtual conference was to highlight Sustainability programming across the company and celebrate the cross-functional teams that make this work a reality. We held employee sessions on our efforts to build and operate sustainable workplaces, partner with NGOs on water restoration projects, develop a Net Zero 2030 roadmap, and sustainable platform projects.