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Last week the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) issued its annual climate change report that ranks the greenhouse gas emissions of many of the world’s largest public companies. At Microsoft we’ve remained committed to the principles of carbon disclosure— diligently reporting our carbon emissions, energy and now water use through the CDP for the last eight years
While there are a number of competing views on the value of rankings like the CDP (Marc Gunther shared some good thoughts late last week in GreenBiz), we believe that rankings like the CDP and the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (which was also updated last week to include Microsoft), provide an important benchmark against our peers across major corporations and within the technology industry. As a company our recent commitment to carbon neutrality is rooted in the idea that companies have a responsibility to take active steps to reduce their carbon footprint while still remaining competitive in the marketplace. That’s why we couldn’t agree more with the words from the foreword of this year’s report, which declare that we have entered “a new era in which sustainability and growth are not at odds, but rather, very much in sync.”
In this year’s report, Microsoft has made strides in improving its standing among our industry peers. The Carbon Disclosure Report gave Microsoft a disclosure score of 99 this year out of a possible 100, a significant improvement over years past. This puts Microsoft in the top echelon of global companies for carbon disclosure and places us as a leader among technology companies. The CDP also issues A, B, and C grades for actual performance reducing emissions. Microsoft scored a B this year in performance, something we hope to improve upon this next fiscal year.
While we’re pleased to have been included in this year’s list, we recognize that reducing our environmental footprint—across energy, water and waste—is a long-term effort. We’re excited about efforts to improve our IT systems to allow us to more efficiently collect, analyze and share information about resource use and carbon emissions. And as we continue rolling out our internal carbon fee over the coming months, every business unit at Microsoft will have accountability for the carbon they generate. We look forward to continuing to work with the Carbon Disclosure Project to share the impact of our carbon reduction efforts, while at the same time recognizing that there is more work to be done.