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Sustainability is a diverse issue that impacts all aspects of business and life. At Microsoft we’ve worked to infuse our company with environmentally responsible values and to be part of the larger discussion about how software can contribute to a more sustainable world. But as Microsoft’s business has broadened into devices and services, so has our commitment to sustainability. For that reason, we are renaming our team’s blog as the Microsoft Green Blog.
This new name is inclusive of the company’s overall commitment to environmental sustainability, from the adoption of our internal carbon fee to the role that information technology has to play in making a more sustainable planet. In 2013 we will continue sharing stories on this blog about how IT can enable society to seek sustainable solutions, and will also discuss larger issues of sustainability and how Microsoft is contributing to a more environmentally responsible world through our business practices.
Anyone following sustainability conversations this week would see that climate change remains front and center. Capturing a number of headlines was a report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that 2012 was the hottest year on record in the U.S. and the second “most extreme.” Elsewhere in corporate sustainability, Walmart launched “My Sustainability Plan,” a program for their employees which helps tackle sustainability issues in their own lives.
Environmental sustainability is at the core of our businesses practices around the world. As we strive to reduce the impact of our own operations and products, green efforts made by our offices around the world are helping us elevate our position as a sustainability leader in the global technology sector.
Earlier this month Microsoft’s India offices participated in Green Office Week, which included four days of presentations on everyday actions Microsoft India employees could take to contribute to the company’s sustainability efforts. The week culminated with employees making ‘green’ resolutions for the coming year.
In his second inaugural address, President Obama gave prominent attention to the threat of climate change. Washington Post’s Wonkblog offered a detailed look on how climate factored in the President’s speech, which explains how the nation should confront global warming. Despite promising rhetoric following his first inauguration in 2009, many climate advocates were underwhelmed by climate policy during the past four years. That’s one reason why GreenBiz called out the need for leadership from the executive branch on climate policy in its analysis of the inaugural speech. In his analysis, author David Bartlett explains that while the challenge of limiting climate change is clear, IT and communication technology can have very impressive results on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.