Meta's technology-driven journey towards decarbonisation

At Sustainability LIVE London, Dharmesh ‘DJ’ Jani from Meta presented the company’s great decarbonisation achievements and its net-zero emissions roadmap

Looking back on the history of climate change investigation in relation to the development of the internet, Dharmesh ‘DJ’ Jani, Infrastructure Ecosystem and Partnership Lead at Meta, brought a comprehensive perspective to his keynote session at Sustainability LIVE London

This perspective also supported him in highlighting the journey of Meta as it evolved from its launch in 2004 to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) in 2020. 

Jani breaks down the company’s journey and delves into its sustainability credentials, highlighting the high energy capacity it owns and the 5.8 million cubic metres of water restored by the organisation since its sustainability journey began following the Paris Climate Accord in 2015.

Leading up to 2030, Meta set the target to achieve net-zero emissions across its entire value chain, which is bold by today’s standards, but Jani explains the roadmap to getting there. 

“We recently published our 2022 carbon emission numbers. And in 2022, Meta reported 8.5 million metric tonnes of carbon emission,” says Jani. “This included all of our activities. Scope 2, Scope 2, and Scope 3.”

“If you take a closer look, you find that Scope 3 constitutes 99% of our emissions. In fact, we net out Scope 1 and 2 by buying over 80,000 tonnes of carbon credits. So effectively all of our 2022 emissions are because of Scope 3. [This] includes all of our activities across our supply chain, which includes things from raw material into manufacturing, plant building systems, deploying them in data centres, logistics, all of that part of our supply chain.” 

A futuristic, technology-driven approach to decarbonisation 

As a ‘carbon reduction first’ company, Meta follows a three-pronged strategy towards climate impact reduction: decarbonisation, supplier engagement, carbon removal. 

Decarbonisation for Meta means designing with less and reducing the volume of materials used to construct hardware, while elongating the lifespan of its components and products. Secondly, the idea of designing better products will allow the company to embrace circularity in the process. Adopting low-carbon technologies is also a step that the organisation will take to bring down its Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions. 

From here, Meta will expand further to tackle Scope 3 through its suppliers. The critical stages of this include benchmarking—measuring the current climate impact—then supporting suppliers with target-setting and helping them to implement their strategies to mitigate carbon emissions contributions. 

One of the critical methods for reducing climate impact at meta is the adoption of carbon capture technologies. Nature-based solutions will form the bulk of its efforts while other emerging technologies wll be used to enhance the experience of carbon sequestration. 

Jani says: “All of us here with brains in our skulls, forests covering land, oceans with creatures in the cosmic vastness, in the cosmic darkness. This is the only place where we know life exists. So we must do everything to protect this pale blue dot for this is the destiny we all share together. Thank you very much for your time.” 

These initiatives are particularly poignant, given the increased hype surrounding the metaverse. It will certainly be interesting to see if companies like Meta will be able to continue its business developments, whilst maintaining sustainable strategies.

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