At Facebook, we believe sustainability is about more than operating responsibly. It is an opportunity to support the communities we are a part of and make a bigger impact on the world.
We believe that climate change is an urgent issue facing the world today and we are committed to doing our part to address this challenge. That is why we are taking action by minimizing the environmental impact of our operations, supporting cross-sector collaboration to scale science-driven solutions, and leveraging our platforms to develop innovations for a more sustainable world.
Letter from Rachel Peterson, Vice President of Infrastructure
“Businesses must continue to take strong, quick action to combat climate change’s toll on our planet, environment, and communities. As Facebook continues to innovate and implement solutions to drive climate action, we will work to ensure that our solutions take into account the people that are most affected by climate change so that the world can see a safer, cleaner and healthier tomorrow.”
Letter from Rachel Peterson, Vice President of Infrastructure
Last year was a year unlike any other in recent memory. The world came to a grinding halt as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which drastically shifted the way we work, live, and connect with others.
Rising social tensions and challenges have also shed light on how the impacts of issues such as a global pandemic or climate change are experienced differently across regions and groups of people, specifically BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) and economically-distressed communities. Many of these communities already experience the worst impacts of climate change—extreme temperatures, pollution, or weather patterns—due to the lack of access to adequate resources.
While daily global carbon emissions fell for the first time last year due to the pandemic shutdown, the world remains at a key inflection point. Science shows us we have less than 10 years to curb global warming. As we resume our ‘normal’ lives, it is imperative that the private and public sectors take the lessons learned from 2020 into 2021 and beyond, and remain steadfast in our support for the Paris Agreement.
Last year, the health and safety of our global employees remained a top priority and we quickly shifted our projects online as employees began remote work, in adherence to local public health guidance. Nevertheless, our teams continued to make great strides in strengthening Facebook’s commitment to addressing climate change through operational excellence and innovation:
In September, we announced our most ambitious goal yet: to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions across our value chain by 2030. By the end of 2020, we had achieved 100 percent renewable energy and net zero emissions across our global operations through a 94 percent reduction in emissions and supporting high-quality carbon removal projects.
While the majority of our employees worked remotely, we continued to take steps to minimize our operational footprint by making sure the facilities and offices that needed to stay open were running efficiently. Last year was also the first time we procured additional renewable energy to support the electricity use of our employees while they worked from home.
We launched two key products on our platform aimed at inspiring climate action: the Climate Science Information Center and the Climate Conversation Map. The Center increases access to authoritative information on climate change from the world’s leading climate science sources and the Map allows Facebook partners—academic researchers and environmental nonprofits—to better understand how climate conversations are happening on our platforms.
We deepened supplier engagement through targeted capability building to ensure the health and resilience of our supply chain workers during the pandemic.
While this progress is important, our collective work is far from over. Businesses must continue to take strong, quick action to combat climate change’s toll on our planet. As we continue to innovate and implement solutions to drive climate action, we will work to ensure that our solutions take into account the people who are most affected by climate change so that the world can see a safer, cleaner, and healthier tomorrow.
– Rachel Peterson
Net Zero reached in operational GHG emissions
In 2020, we achieved net zero emissions in our operations by reducing emissions by 94 percent* and supporting carbon removal projects.
*from a 2017 baseline
100%renewable energy supporting our operations
We achieved 100 percent renewable energy for our global operations and now have over 2.8 gigawatts of wind and solar projects online.
5.8 millioncubic meters of water restored
In 2020, Facebook locally restored nearly 5.8 million cubic meters of water in water-stressed regions.
Responsible Supply Chain
During the global pandemic, we deepened our collaboration with priority suppliers, working to address labor, human rights, health and safety, and environmental issues across our supply chain.
Climate Science Information Center
We expanded our portfolio of climate products and launched the Climate Science Information Center, a dedicated hub to provide authoritative information from the world’s leading climate science sources.
We expanded our presence during the virtualized Climate Week NYC and the UN General Assembly (UNGA) by hosting an online panel, “Working Together to Accelerate Climate Action,” drawing over 1,000 viewers for the event.
In Altoona, Iowa, we piloted a number of programs to help reduce our environmental impact through our construction equipment, including the use of the world’s first electric drive dozer which consumes 25 percent less diesel fuel compared to traditional bulldozers.
In 2020, we completed our first offices slated for WELL and Fitwel® certifications, which focus on improving the health of a building’s occupants. We also launched our inaugural Sustainability Summit, an internal one-day virtual sustainability event that aligns with UNGA and Climate Week and aims to celebrate the cross-functional teams that make Facebook’s sustainability work a reality.
Featured Disclosures & Verification
We’ve shared our environmental footprint since 2011.
Our data is third-party verified.