Facebook user’s carbon footprint – the same as a latte

Facebook has announced its carbon footprint for the first time – and revealed each of its users generate 269 grams a year, roughly the same as one medium latte, or […]

Register now!

By Vicky Ellis

Facebook has announced its carbon footprint for the first time – and revealed each of its users generate 269 grams a year, roughly the same as one medium latte, or three large bananas.

Mark Zuckerberg’s website, founded in 2004, has a total annual carbon footprint of 285,000 metric tonnes of CO2 equivalent (MT CO2e) last year.

That’s a fraction of rival online giant Google, which last year said it generated 1.5million tonnes of carbon annually.

Facebook counted its greenhouse gas emissions from data centres, office space, employee commuting, employee air travel, data centre construction and server transportation.

The social networking site which now has 955 million monthly active users used a total 532million kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy last year.

Renewable energy makes up the second largest chunk of Facebook’s energy, according to the figures, providing 23% with the biggest portion coming from coal (27%). Around a fifth (17%) came from gas, 13% from nuclear power and another fifth was uncategorized – meaning it was energy bought by utilities on the spot market and could be any sort of energy.

Acknowledging the figures aren’t the whole story, the firm said in a statement: “We recognize that this data is just one slice of our overall environmental footprint but we think it’s an important starting point. We’ll continue to track and share this data and we’ll also work to understand and share other aspects of our footprint where we can.”

It admitted as a fast-growing company its carbon footprint and energy mix may get worse before they get better, adding it has set a company goal to get at least 25% of its energy mix from clean and renewable sources by 2015.