When Facebook announced its plans to build a new data center in Ireland back in 2015, there were many concerns over the scar it would make on the beautiful landscape of Clonee, Co. Meath. While it isn’t exactly the prettiest building you’ve ever seen, Facebook appears to have gone to great lengths to ensure its environmental impact is as minimal as possible.
Around €200 million euro has been spent – and 7.2 million construction hours dedicated – since work began in April 2016. The running costs will likely be astronomical too, as data centers use an awful lot of electricity. But what’s special about this particular campus is that it’s 100% powered by “clean” energy. The social media giant has worked with Brookfield Renewables to ensure that the facility is powered entirely by wind energy. Not only that, but Facebook’s international headquarters in Dublin is similarly powered solely by wind energy. This is an important step in the company’s goal to become totally reliant on renewable energy by 2020.
Facebook has gone the extra mile when it comes to being environmentally friendly too; the building houses an apiary, from which bees fly as far as 5km away to pollinate local gardens and farms. Local crop yields are reported to have increased by as much as 30% since the apiary opened.
Not only is the plant environmentally friendly, it also seems to be giving the local economy a large boost. More than 1000 workers will have been employed over a five-year period by the time construction finishes. On top of that, there are now 300 permanent staff working in the facility itself, performing a wide variety of jobs. Facebook is also accepting applications for funding for projects that address community needs, through its Community Action Grant Program. This shows that the company is truly trying to integrate itself into the community and detach itself from the stereotypical faceless corporation image.