With half a million signatures backing it up, Greenpeace fired off a letter to Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg today calling for the world’s largest social network to cut ties to coal-fired power at its new data center in Oregon.
“Other cloud-based companies face similar choices and challenges as you do in building data centers, yet many are making smarter and cleaner investments,” executive director of Greenpeace, Kumi Naidoo, writes. He points to Google and its a recent agreement to buy wind power from NextEra Energy for the next 20 years to power its data centers.
The letter adds to what’s turning into a miserable week for Zuckerberg, who is also fighting a civil lawsuit by a man who claims to own a huge chunk of the social network site and is seeking to uncover “unnecessary details” about Zuckerberg’s private life.
Greenpeace’s “Unfriend Coal” drive targeting Facebook falls under the environmental group’s larger Cool IT campaign, which aims to influence infrastructure choices behind the cloud-computing boom.
When Facebook broke ground on its center in Prineville, Oregon, last January, it blogged about energy-efficient technologies at the new facility, including cooling the air by bringing in cooler air from outside in an “airside economizer” and re-use of server heat during the colder months.