Facebook pledges a "water-positive" future by 2030

Aug 20, 2021 | Posted by MadalineDunn

As the climate crisis reaches breaking point and the number of water-stressed regions across the US increase, Facebook, whose data centers consume huge amounts of water in areas plagued by water scarcity, has promised to reverse its environmental impact.

According to Sylvia Lee, Facebook’s sustainability water lead, the tech giant has “always strived to responsibly manage” how it uses water resources in the communities it operates in. Now, as big tech battles to become a bastion of sustainability, Facebook has pledged to restore more water than it consumes across its global operations by 2030. 

As Baxtel recently covered, Facebook has been revealed as the company behind the $800 million data center in Mesa, projected to guzzle 1.7 million gallons of water per day. According to Facebook, it will counteract this by restoring more water than it consumes. 

Speaking about its motivations behind this pledge, in a statement, Facebook said: “The climate crisis demands urgent action from all of us. Reaching this ambitious goal will require a combination of water restoration efforts starting in regions that are highly water-stressed, as well as technologies to increase water efficiency at our facilities.”

The company has said it will deliver on its pledge by restoring 850 million gallons of water per year, and reports say that its existing water projects have already restored 595 million gallons of water in 2020. One of its projects includes restoring around 415.8 million gallons per year in the Provo River and 36 million gallons per year in the Cedar Valley Watershed. Going forward, Facebook plans to extend its restoration projects to Ireland, Singapore, India, the UK and Mexico.

Facebook representative Melanie Roe reflected: “Over the last decade, we’ve invested in new ways to make our data centers more water and energy efficient with a focus on sustainable solutions.”

She added. “As of 2020, our entire global footprint of offices and data centers have been supported by 100% renewable energy and we reached net zero emissions. We did this in large part by investing in the development of new clean energy generation in the places where we use the most electricity.”

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