How Meta is using AI to reduce carbon footprint

10 Jan 2023
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How Meta is using AI to reduce carbon footprint

10 Jan 2023
About the speakers
  • Julius Kusuma
    Julius Kusuma
    Principal Research Scientist at Meta Platforms, Inc.
    I've worked as a research scientist since completing my PhD at MIT, working in the interface between the digital world and the physical world. At Schlumberger, I led a research team developing subsea and subsurface communication systems used for energy infrastructure. When I joined Facebook, I worked on telecom network infrastructure for deep-rural and dense-urban areas, contributing to power management of telecom sites and the design of broadband wireless sites. Now at Meta, I work on sustainability technologies for our data center infrastructure. One project we are working on is using AI to optimize concrete mixes, to reduce the embodied carbon of a data center without sacrificing relevant performance: we took this research idea to demonstration in a real data center. To learn more, check out our Tech showcase here: https://tech.fb.com/engineering/2022/04/sustainable-concrete/
  • Amruta Sudhalkar
    Amruta Sudhalkar
    Sustainability Program Manager at Meta
    Amruta is a Sustainability Program Manager at Meta. She leads Meta's Net Zero Strategy for data center construction. She has over a decade of experience in climate change mitigation and adaptation. She has leveraged her background in urban planning and environmental engineering to do greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories, set targets, and develop climate mitigation plans for numerous public and private institutions. She has extensive experience in developing quantitative decision support tools and dashboards that track baseline emissions and quantify the reduction impacts of specific actions based on a robust set of assumptions. In addition to technical expertise in the areas of operational and embodied carbon reduction, Amruta also has a wealth of experience in consensus building and stakeholder engagement to generate widespread support for the adoption of ambitious GHG reduction strategies. Prior to joining Facebook, Amruta worked as a sustainability planner at AECOM and ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability.

Key takeaways

Meta researchers, in partnership with the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, have developed a new AI model that can optimise concrete mixtures for both performance and sustainability.

The impact of this work could reach beyond data centre buildings in the future, benefiting the general construction industry.

Another way Meta addresses carbon emissions includes reducing water consumption by using natural airflow to cool down data centres.

By engaging with other parties in developing an open-source AI, Meta hopes the construction community can help to improve the technology even more.