At Facebook, we are proud to design, build and operate some of the most sustainable workplaces in the world.
When designing and building our offices, we seek to create some of the most sustainable offices in the world by using materials with low environmental impact. We also strive to incorporate rigorous sustainable design standards and certifications – such as LEED®, Fitwel and WELL. Our Menlo Park headquarters has achieved LEED® Platinum and we use rigorous sustainable design standards across all of our global facilities. We also work with suppliers that share our commitment to sustainability. Beyond construction, we operate with high performance standards, optimize operational efficiency and reduce unnecessary waste to landfill.
We use demanding industry standards to realize key opportunities to make our operations more sustainable by optimizing our water and energy consumption. For example, we adopted the International Organization for Standardization for Energy Management (ISO) 50001 model and in 2019, we certified all of our UK and Irish offices. Through data gathering and benchmarking to determine our energy use baseline, we implemented effective energy management solutions that reduced our electricity and natural gas consumption at these facilities. Our facilities are recertified each year to ensure that they continue to operate efficiently.
Waste reduction is another example of our commitment to refining our operations and reducing our carbon footprint. Our Menlo Park headquarters diverts over 90 percent of our waste away from landfills through extensive recycling and composting efforts. We are partnering with recycling and composting organizations to reduce further. Additional reduction efforts are sought through our entire culinary program. Not only are our teams reducing waste by optimizing how food is procured and cooked, but our teams are also seeking healthy alternatives to carbon-intensive meat-heavy dishes. As of 2020, every cafe was offering a minimum of 50 percent of its entrees as a vegetarian or vegan option.
As we continue to expand our operations around the world, data insights and setting benchmarks will play a crucial role in our ability to scale efforts to create more sustainable workplaces and minimize our impact. In 2019, we established an operational goal to reduce the carbon footprint associated with global offices while meeting our goal to cultivate workplace productivity around the world. We focused our efforts on building a comprehensive, global approach to sustainable workplaces, expanding upon discrete initiatives to create a global program that helps us better understand the impacts and benefits of energy efficiency programs, projects and updates to buildings around the world. We created a global database to capture our water and energy consumption, as well as the amount of waste generated by our offices. This data-driven approach helped us set a baseline of operating standards, create tools for standard and efficient operations and increase the visibility of the sustainable operations of our global portfolio.
In communities where our campuses are located, we aim to reduce our footprint while protecting neighboring habitats by incorporating sustainable building and landscape design. In 2015, we completed construction on a nine-acre green roof in our Menlo Park headquarters, featuring more than 200 hundred trees and a half-mile pathway. The area has become a vital habitat for more than 4,000 resident and migrant birds.
Our Culinary teams in our Menlo Park headquarters avoid undue waste by delivering nearly 30,000 meals per week to local charities and we also collaborate with local farmers’ trucks to offer communities low-cost farm shares.
Driving Change Through Employee Engagement
When it comes to sustainability in the workplace, our employees are some of our greatest supporters. Their engagement and interest help support Facebook’s ability to create and maintain sustainable working environments.
Throughout the year, we find opportunities to partner with employees on sustainability initiatives through internal engagement campaigns. For Earth Week in April 2019, we celebrated the moment by launching 40 employee events in more than 35 global locations. These events included a series of sustainability activations, such as local community cleanups, AR/VR demos, SDG fireside chats, expert panels, and smart building tours. More than 2,200 employees participated to learn more about Facebook’s sustainability commitments in company operations and how to integrate sustainability practices into their personal lives. During Climate Week in September 2019, six global offices hosted events to educate employees about climate change and how to get involved.
Across the company, we continue to see employee enthusiasm and involvement in our sustainability program increase dramatically. In 2019, we had 13 internal Green@ chapters, which grew 40 percent from the prior year and included more than 2,400 employees across the world. These employee resource groups are key partners to advancing sustainability initiatives at Facebook.
From taking alternative transportation to participating in internal sustainability events, engagement from employees has allowed us to scale our impact in reducing our environmental footprint. In an effort to curb their own environmental footprint, 40 percent of employees across our global offices – and 50 percent at our Menlo Park headquarters – took alternative commute options to work in 2019. In 2019, we successfully reduced the use of single-use plastic water bottles across global workplaces. By working together with the employee-led Green@ teams, this initiative led to a 50 percent reduction of single-use water bottles, or nearly 6 million bottles annually worldwide.
Efficiently Operating Our Workplaces
When we build new office spaces for our people, we strive to create sustainable workplaces by prioritizing the use of healthy and sustainable materials, creating solutions that advance employee wellbeing and minimizing our impact on the environment.