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Facebook’s green image receives a blow

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Facebook is the latest company to get into trouble over its higher-than-average carbon emissions.

The social media site’s annual report showed a 25 per cent rise in its 2012 greenhouse gas emissions when compared to the previous year – it was responsible for nearly 384,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, up from 275,000 in 2011.

This includes greenhouse gasses from data centres, office space, employee commutes, air travel, data centre construction and hardware transportation.

However, a study by Microsoft has shown that this figure could be slashed dramatically if the right solutions are put in place.

Being seen as a green company is very important and making the move to environmental sustainability should be a goal of any organisation. In fact, a survey from business insurance company AXA found that 96 per cent of FTSE-listed businesses believe that energy efficiency is paramount.

Employers are in a good position to educate their workforce and introduce long term strategies for sustainability. These can include encouraging employees to cut back on non-essential equipment by making sure machines are not left sitting idle for long periods of time.

On top of this, ensuring space in shared offices is not wasted can help to reduce carbon emissions as well as lead to savings for a company. As unused desks use up energy through heat and light, it can represent a real waste.

Instead, offer flexible working solutions to staff members – by allowing employees to conduct business from home, office space can be downsized thus leading to a reduction in overheads. For those who do want to work in the office from time to time, hot desking is a good way to allow this.

You should also aim to measure your carbon footprint at regular intervals; make this part of the yearly reporting process. Once you have evidence of effectively reducing your footprint you can use it as marketing collateral which will allow you to attract new customers and investment.