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The Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO) recently published a case study taking an in-depth look at Microsoft’s carbon neutrality commitment, calling Microsoft “a leader in adopting environmentally responsible practices.” As an industry organization committed to developing climate change strategies, ACCO wanted to examine the strategies for developing a commitment to net-zero emissions and a carbon pricing model in order to help other companies learn from Microsoft’s experience.
ACCO’s report is based on an interview with TJ DiCaprio, a senior director in our environmental sustainability team who helped spearhead the design and implementation of the carbon fee. The study notes that the carbon neutrality pledge and the carbon fee were hardly Microsoft’s first forays into sustainability. In just the past six months Microsoft reduced its carbon intensity by 30 percent from 2007 levels and was recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency for being the third largest organizational purchaser of renewable energy in the U.S.
The case study also highlights that the increases in energy efficiency that we expect to gain from carbon pricing will likely yield financial benefits in the coming years as our cloud computing business continues to grow. By using IT to measure emissions across the company, we will be able to hold internal business groups financially responsible for the cost to offset their CO2, ensuring that everyone has a stake in increasing efficiency and reducing carbon emissions. For Microsoft, that means that carbon neutrality is both good citizenship and good business.
The case study makes clear that the carbon neutrality commitment is an initial step for Microsoft, and we will continue taking steps to ensure that our policies are reducing our environmental footprint. You can read the case study in full here.