Sustainability in numbers

Facebook is committed to a journey of continuous improvement—and we’re using robust sustainability data to do it.

Tracking and minimizing impact for millions of square feet across the globe

We’re scaling positive impact by tracking metrics that matter. By employing a data-driven approach, we’re able to identify and build on our most impactful programs and highlight new places to drive efficiency. We’re tracking key performance indicators to give us detailed insight into our carbon footprint and our energy and water use.


Download our energy, carbon, and water data 

Energy

Increasing our use of renewable energy sources to 100 percent by 2020.

We’re working aggressively to support our facilities with 100 percent renewable energy by 2020. We met our target of 50 percent renewable energy in 2017, a year ahead of schedule, and we are now focusing our sights on 2020. Earlier this year, we committed to over 3,000 megawatts of renewable energy to support Facebook facilities globally.

ELECTRICITY MIX

Renewable energy made up over 50% of our overall electricity mix in 2017, up from only 14% in 2013.

Electricity Mix

2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Renewables 14% 21% 35% 44% 51%
Coal 17% 15% 17% 16% 13%
Natural Gas 14% 21% 35% 43% 13%
Nuclear 23% 23% 18% 16% 14%
Uncategorized 12% 7% 4% 3%  4%

Electricity mix prior to 2016 was calculated using only data on data centers, but we are confident that this is also a close representation of our overall grid mix as data center electricity counts for >95% electricity each year. Beyond 2016, the calculation is based on data for all facilities.

Using Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) to measure how efficiently our data centers convert energy into compute power.

PUE is how we measure the operating efficiency of our data centers. We compare the total amount of power we source from our utility with the power used to run the hardware within the data center. The “ideal” PUE is 1.0, meaning that every electron entering the site is used to power the hardware inside the data center. The industry average PUE is 1.5, and we’re proud that our facilities have averaged 1.10 or below for the last five years. We still continue to look for additional ways to get even closer to 1.0.

Annual Data Center Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE)

Continuous optimizations are keeping our PUE well below the industry average

Chart showing Power Usage Effectiveness over time

Power Usage Effectiveness

2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Annual Data Center PUE 1.09 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.10

Carbon

Setting a science-based target to reduce our emissions by 75 percent.

We’re minimizing our carbon footprint by driving operating efficiencies across our facilities and sourcing 100 percent renewable energy for our operations. As part of our commitment to fight climate change, we've set a science-based target to reduce by 2020 our greenhouse gas emissions 75 percent by 2020 from 2017 levels.

ANNUAL MARKET-BASED GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS

Facebook’s annual emissions for the average person on the platform are still about the same as the carbon impact of boiling one pot of water - or making one medium latte.

Chart showing GHG emissions and GHG emissions intensity over time

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

(market-based metric tons CO2e)

Total GHG Emissions 451,000 520,000 629,000 711,000 979,000
2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Data Center Operations Emissions 358,000 427,000 423,000 516,000 603,000
Altoona, IA not yet online 0 1,000 1,000 1,000
Clonee, Ireland not yet online not yet online not yet online 0 0
Forest City, NC 85,000 119,000 106,000 116,000 137,000
Fort Worth, TX not yet online not yet online not yet online 0 1,000
Luleå, Sweden 0 0 0 0 0
Prineville, OR 162,000 187,000 207,000 239,000 293,000
East Coast Colocation Facility 91,000 103,000 81,000 115,000 122,000
Other Leased Data Center Facilities 19,000 18,000 28,000 45,000 49,000
Offices Emissions 15,000 17,000 28,000 39,000 35,000
Other Business Activity
78,000
76,000
178,000
156,000
341,000
Construction 45,000 34,000 96,000 56,000 191,000
Corporate Travel 23,000 29,000 52,000 64,000 94,000
Employee Commuting 10,000 13,000 30,000 36,000 57,000

Fighting climate change to make a positive global impact.

Although electricity use has been our biggest source of emissions historically - comprising 63 percent of our footprint in 2017 - this percentage is decreasing as we increase our use of renewable energy. To keep our footprint as small as possible, we have to focus on more than just electricity. We’re also factoring in things like the impact of the building materials we choose and how our employees get to work. Our commitment to investigating low-carbon materials and increasing our electric vehicle fleet are just some of the ways we're reducing emissions across our operations.

Water

Leading with data centers that are 80 percent more water efficient than average.

Our data centers are among the most water-efficient in the world. We’ve optimized our water use to achieve exceptional efficiency, but we’re also making sure that we get more out every drop we use.

ANNUAL WATER WITHDRAWAL

We use water to keep our data centers cool and to keep our offices running smoothly.

Chart showing water withdrawal and intensity over time

Water Withdrawal

(cubic meters)

Total Water Withdrawal 662,000 793,000 1,129,000 1,609,000
2014 2015 2016 2017
Data Center Operations Total 465,000 566,000 825,000 1,139,000
Altoona, IA 18,000 44,000 87,000 106,000
Clonee, Ireland not yet online not yet online not yet online 10,000
Forest City, NC 112,000 99,000 123,000 129,000
Fort Worth, TX not yet online not yet online 14,000 98,000
Luleå, Sweden 13,000 30,000 32,000 66,000
Prineville, OR 40,000 70,000 70,000 172,000
East Coast Colocation Facility 237,000 245,000 400,000 473,000
Other Leased Data Center Facilities 44,000 78,000 98,000 85,000
Offices Total 198,000 227,000 305,000 470,000

* – Notes on Facebook’s water withdrawal:

  • 5% is ground water, and the remainder is provided by local utilities. 29% of total withdrawal is recycled/reused water. All unconsumed water is returned to utility-owned wastewater treatment plants.
  • 24% of water withdrawal occurs in high water stress areas (determined using WRI’s Aqueduct tool).
  • Not included in these figures are an additional 390,000 m3 of water withdrawn for the construction of Facebook data centers in 2017.

Transparent about our water data and always looking for the best ways to communicate our impact.

We’ve measured our water withdrawal for years but recently we’ve started tracking our consumption too. Water withdrawal as a metric tells us how much water we purchase for our operations, but a large amount of that water is returned to local wastewater treatment plants and can be used again further downstream. Water consumption tells us what we actually evaporate in our operations and gives us a better idea of our true impact.

Measuring how efficiently our data centers use water.

Water Usage Effectiveness (WUE) is a water efficiency metric that compares the amount of water we use to the amount of energy that’s used by our hardware. We’ve consistently kept our WUE stable—and extremely low—since we began tracking and reporting the metric in 2012. We’re also proud that we were the first to report this metric publicly and are still one of the few companies to share it.

Water usage effectiveness (WUE)

Our data centers use 80% less water than typical data centers.

Chart showing water usage effectiveness

Water Usage Effectiveness

2014 2015 2016 2017
Water use (L)/IT load (kWh) 0.32 0.24 0.21 0.24