Facebook And NBC Universal Tout Green Credentials

Facebook is joining efforts to make the computing industry more environmentally friendly and is also reaching out to consumers with a new green page.

The social networking site has joined the Digital Energy Solutions Campaign, hosted by the Information Technology Industry Council.

Chris Hankin, senior director of environment and sustainability policy at ITI, said: “Global leaders such as Facebook provide the ideal foundation for promoting environmentally-responsible business practices across all industries. We look forward to having Facebook at the table as we continue to harness and promote technological advances such as energy-efficient data centers, smart grids and next-generation facilities.”

Facebook has invested resources into developing energy efficient computing system, including launching a programming language, HipHop for PHP, earlier this year. The language, which Facebook has made open source, apparently halves the number of servers needed to do the same amount of work.

Facebook has also launched a page at facebook.com/green with environmental information for individuals and organizations. The social networking site plans to collaborate with environmental experts to manage the page and DESC will be the first co-administrator.

However, Facebook has come under fire from Greenpeace over the fact that its new data center in Oregon will be primarily powered by coal. It’s interesting that one of the most recent posts on the facebook.com/green page is about the energy-efficient cooling techniques at their data center.

Meanwhile, the brands of NBC Universal are promoting an app called “Make Green Count”. Kicking off from November 7, consumers can join their favorite NBC brand in taking a pledge to make a lifestyle change to benefit the environment. For example, users might “power down your computer” with USA Network, “share a green story” with NBC News, “wash your clothes in cold water” with Bravo, or “use a reusable shopping bag” with iVillage.

For some pledges, consumers will be rewarded coupons to support their environmental efforts. Pledge makers will also earn points for each pledge, to go toward a charitable donation from Green is Universal, a group within NBC Universal. The greater the pledges’ environmental benefits, the higher the points allotted and once participants collectively earn 100,000 green points, the campaign will donate $10,000 to the Nature Conservancy’s Fund for Gulf Coast Restoration.

Beth Colleton, VP of Green is Universal, said: “Offering an easy way for consumers to add their green stories and commitments into their social networking rhythm, this application is also a great tool to help spread and expand the green dialogue on the web.”

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