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Microsoft recently hosted the International Telecommunication Union’s second annual Green Standards Week at our offices in Paris. The aim of Green Standards Week is one that’s important to Microsoft—how to use information and communications technology (ICT) to increase environmental efficiency and help all industries become more sustainable. As a company we have committed to applying ICT to address all manner of environmental challenges, from making buildings smarter to tracking and reducing every metric ton of carbon that we emit as a company.
This year’s Green Standards Week gathered everyone from policy makers and regulators to researchers and private sector companies like Microsoft. The agenda reflected the latest thinking across the industry as to how ICT enables greater opportunities for sustainability. Smart cities and smart grids were at the top of the agenda, as attendees discussed how to assess the carbon footprint of cities and how ICT can be used to reduce energy consumption. The smart grids forum looked at the role of energy-efficient buildings and how the smart grid can enable distributed renewable energy, like solar, to become an increasingly important part of the energy mix.
Later in the week discussion focused on issues ranging from greening the ICT supply chain to using ICT standards to green the economy, which was a forum jointly organized by Microsoft, ITU and TechAmerica Europe. The ‘greening the economy’ round table in particular examined the role of cloud computing and its potential to dramatically change business models across industries.
The week was a resounding success as it brought together many of the best minds in Europe and beyond to discuss the potential for technology to reorient society’s relationship with the environment. We look forward to being part of a continued dialogue in the coming years as the technology industry works in partnership with others to develop green standards across industries.