Mark Zuckerberg, Chairman of Facebook, speaks on the second day of the 56th Munich Security Conference. The fight against propaganda campaigns and other attempts at manipulation costs Facebook billions every year.
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Facebook announced on Thursday plans to return more water than it uses by 2030, the company’s latest initiative against climate change.
The company primarily uses water to cool the computer banks that run in its data centers. In 2020, according to Facebook, it removed 3.7 million cubic meters of water – a volume equivalent to nearly 1,500 Olympic-sized swimming pools – or a total consumption of 2.2 million cubic meters.
Facebook intends to focus its efforts on regions that utilize local water resources, but it is also exploring high-risk areas that are facing the greatest challenges in terms of their water supply, said Sylvia Lee, Facebook’s water sustainability director.
“When you look at the biggest effects of climate change – some of the really big ones like forest fires, droughts, floods – everything is ultimately related to water,” Lee said in an interview.
Extreme weather events have become increasingly common around the world, from forest fires in Facebook’s home state of California to historic storms and record heat waves.
The United Nations Climate Panel launched one earlier this month bad report calls for immediate action. The agency warned that limiting global warming to almost 1.5 degrees Celsius or even 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels will be “unattainable” in the next two decades without reducing greenhouse gas emissions quickly and on a large scale. The report states that heat extremes at 2 degrees Celsius would often reach critical tolerance levels for agriculture and health.
Big tech companies, which use a lot of energy in their data centers and are growing much faster than the overall economy, are announcing their plans.
Apple called Wednesday It supports a clean energy standard proposed by the Biden government to eliminate greenhouse gases from power plants by 2035. Facebook rival Snap announced its own climate strategy in March to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and buy back 100% renewable energy. In 2019, Amazons Jeff Bezos revealed “Climate Promise”, and said he anticipates 80% of the company’s energy consumption will come from renewable sources by 2024.
Outside the tech industry, companies are like 3M and Pespi made a similar pledge to protect water supplies. 3M joined the Water Resilience Coalition earlier this month and is committed to using its resources to improve water supplies. Pepsi promised earlier this month to replenish more water than it uses by 2030.
Facebook has previously launched water restoration projects in New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Utah, Oregon, and California. This includes funding to support the Colorado River Indian Tribes System Conversation Project to maintain and stabilize the water levels in Lake Mead, Arizona. The company is also helping plant 70,000 trees in California to restore areas burned by forest fires in 2018.
Going forward, Facebook announced that it would expand its water restoration efforts in Ireland, Singapore, India, the UK and Mexico.
“When we focus on water restoration, we focus on projects that go into the same watershed we’re involved in,” said Lee.
The company plans to review its water restoration efforts through LimnoTech, a sustainability consultancy. Facebook will keep the public informed of its efforts annually Sustainability reports.
Earlier this year, Facebook announced that it had been achieved Net zero emissions and that’s it now 100% dependent on renewable energies. In September 2020, the company set itself the goal of becoming net zero throughout the supply chain by 2030.