Facebook has hired Google’s former “green energy czar” Bill Weihl, in a move designed to demonstrate the company’s commitment to low-carbon computing and renewable energy. Weihl will begin the new post in January 2012, Facebook confirmed.
Weihl reportedly told online magazine Fresh Dialogues that he plans to “advance sustainability” at Facebook. While his job title and responsibilities at have not been decided, the focus will be on sustainability, clean energy and energy efficiency, he said.
The news comes just as Greenpeace winds up a long-running campaign calling on Facebook to “unfriend coal” as a source of energy for its data centres. The environmental campaign group singled out Facebook because of the company’s decision to site its first wholly-owned data centre in Oregon, using electricity from PacificCorp – an energy company which makes two thirds of its power using coal.