This Week In Sustainability – Week of May 21

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The Official Blog of Microsoft's
Environmental Sustainability Team

This Week In Sustainability – Week of May 21

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clip_image002 GreenBiz reported this week on the results of a survey conducted by MIT Sloan Management Review and Boston Consulting Group about corporate sustainability efforts. One of the biggest takeaways from the survey is that while sustainability is increasingly becoming a part of a company’s permanent agenda, it ranks eighth in importance among other management agenda items. Despite this lower level of importance, institutional investors are beginning to pressure companies to more proactively adopt sustainability measures, arguing that this type of performance is an indicator of overall business value. This week’s Economist included a similar article in its Schumpeter column, arguing that corporate social responsibility efforts have become increasingly central to how major companies are doing business. Sustainability is often the cornerstone of those efforts as companies learn how to be “more frugal in their use of resources and more imaginative in the way they think about competitive advantage.”

clip_image004A recent post in The Telegraph detailed the latest G8 summit where the leaders of some of the world’s largest economies agreed to reduce short-lived climate pollutants including methane and black carbon. While these pollutants persist in the atmosphere for a much shorter period than carbon emissions, they are also much more potent. Methane alone has a twentyfold greater impact on global warming than carbon. Taken together, these short-lived pollutants are responsible for roughly half of global warming. The articles states that these methods will not only delay climate change by more than three decades, they also have the potential to save approximately two million lives each year. We’re pleased to see steps being taken to reduce emissions and hope to see additional progress at Rio +20 next month.

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