Q1 Environmental Sustainability Action Award

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Q1 Environmental Sustainability Action Award

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Each quarter, Microsoft gives out an Environmental Sustainability Action Award, along with a donation to an environmental charity of the winner’s choice, in recognition of an employee or team who has shown leadership and provides an inspiring example of how Microsoft and its employees can have a positive impact and change not only on the way we run our business, but also the way our products and services can make a difference for our customers, our partners and for society. 

For Q1 of this fiscal year, this award was given to a team from Microsoft Switzerland led by Joanna Hafenmayer and comprised of Peter Waser, Barbara Josef, Marc Weder, Daniel Fritsch, and Simon Wirth , for the “National Home Office Day Program.” The program focused on helping people and organizations understand the benefits of telecommuting and virtual meetings: for businesses both large and small it can lead to increased productivity, as well as an improved ability to attract and retain the best talent. Greater flexibility for employees results in higher satisfaction and quality of life and, for the environment, less unnecessary travel and thus reduced CO2 emissions.

The World Wildlife Fund estimates that increasing telecommuting and virtual meetings could help save more than 3 billion metric tons of CO2 emissions in a few decades, the equivalent to approximately half the current U.S. CO2 emissions. At Microsoft we are working to redefine what it means to be “present” at meetings, by using Microsoft Lync, with HD video and voice capabilities, it’s easy to have virtual “in-person” meetings, which helps us reduce travel costs and carbon emissions.

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By encouraging our employees to work from home or outside the office we are seeing the benefits for our employees as Microsoft was recently awarded the Best Multinational Workplace in Europe 2011, the fourth year in a row we have taken the top spot, a great testament to how our employees view our workplace culture.

This was the second annual “Home Office Day” for the Swiss sub and resulted in 40,790 participants committing to work from home, ~9,198 tons of CO2 (per year) saved and 31 Swiss businesses who contributed to spreading the word and promoting work from home.

To address the challenges of reaching such a broad audience and proving the value of flexible work scenarios, the Swiss team drove partnerships with employee agencies, key business associations, two key ministries, two ministers, and the environmental non-profit WWF (World Wildlife Fund). They also hired a leading environmental consultancy to create a CO2 framework that was then used to quantify the environmental impact of working from home.

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The Home Office Day has proven to be so successful that 9 other Microsoft offices across Western Europe have launched similar efforts, and have achieved equally impressive results.

Congratulations to the entire Microsoft Switzerland team!

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  • How big is that donation compared to the funding you gave the climate change denying Koch Brother's?

    thinkprogress.org/.../microsoft-funds-kochs-climate-denying-tea-party-conference

    Microsoft Funds Koch’s Climate-Denying Tea Party Conference | Microsoft Corporation, which argues that climate pollution requires a “comprehensive and global response,” is sponsoring the Koch brothers’ Tea Party convention taking place in Washington, DC. Microsoft is a “gold sponsor” of the Americans For Prosperity Foundation’s fifth annual Defending The American Dream Summit, cheek and jowl with top climate denial front groups like the Heartland Institute, the American Legislative Exchange Council, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Speakers at the conference include climate deniers Herman Cain, Mitt Romney, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), Ken Cuccinelli, Ann McElhinney, Chris Horner, Myron Ebell, and Carly Fiorina. Their prominent involvement was captured in a photograph by Slate.com reporter Dave Wiegel.

  • keep on going to the green business :p

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  • Please do keep sharing. This stuff is fascinating to me and I love working in a company that cares about sustainability to the degree that we do. Also, thanks for not deleting any contrary comments as the transparency is also important in a company as mature as we are. Cheers!

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