This Week In Sustainability – Week of July 16

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The Official Blog of Microsoft's
Environmental Sustainability Team

This Week In Sustainability – Week of July 16

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This week, Environmental Leader published an interesting article highlighting LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) green buildingimage certification. The article, by John Collins, looks specifically at how certification (which relies on seven focus areas including sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, innovation and design, and regional credits) contributes to improved data center sustainability. Collins notes that while many sustainability practices are still experimental, such as reducing light pollution by shutting off interior lights overnight or reducing water usage by using rain and waste water instead of fresh water, several of them are “proven, cost-effective, and simple.” As the industry continues to innovate to improve data center sustainability, best practices are emerging and evolving over time, something very top of mind for Microsoft (for example, see our “Top 10 Best Practices for Environmentally Sustainable Data Centers” paper to improve the efficiency of our own facilities).

Meanwhile, as part of The Guardian’s Ultimate Climate Change FAQ series, a reader inquired about the definition and value of implementing a carbon price. Grantham Research Institute’s Alex Bowen and the Guardian’s Duncan Clark responded, explaining that a carbon price is the cost applied to the amount of greenhouse gas emissions polluters emit into the atmosphere and that the adoption of a carbon price worldwide could dramatically reduce carbon emissions and transform polluter behavior. The authors also argued that while many countries and regions have established or are beginning to implement their own carbon pricing schemes, e.g. the European Union, Australia, and South Africa, the most effective way to reduce or prevent the effects of climate change is by setting a uniform global carbon price.

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