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Facebook Seeks to Mitigate HQ Move

Only a year and a half after opening its Palo Alto, Calif., headquarters, Facebook has announced plans to move to nearby Menlo Park – while seeking to mitigate the move’s environmental impact.

Facebook says its current home is overcrowded, and it plans to take up residence in a 57-acre, nine building campus formerly occupied by Oracle and Sun MicroSystems.

The company’s three fellows from the Environmental Defence Fund will draw up a plan to reduce the environmental impacts of the move while saving money.

“This is not just a feel good thing, this makes good business sense,” Melanie Janin of EDF said, quoted on the BBC.

“Embedding these fellows in companies helps embed an understanding of pairing environmental innovation with business sense. You can cut costs and your carbon footprint.”

But some critics have questioned the sustainability of Facebook’s move.

The Inside Facebook blog says the move could push more people to drive instead of taking public transportation.

“One of the draws of moving to Menlo Park was supposedly to allow more employees to commute without using cars,” said blogger Josh Constine.”However, the closest train stop is an 11 minute ride away in one of Facebook’s shuttle buses or a 16 minute bike ride — roughly twice the distance from a train as the Palo Alto offices.”

“For those visiting the campus from San Francisco via public transportation, the trip will take 1.5 hours across multiple buses and underground trains.”

The mayor of Menlo Park said that big housing and traffic issues are still to be worked out, the BBC reported.

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