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Microsoft plays an important role as a board member company of The Green Grid, the premier global organization focused on improving resource efficiency in information technology and data centers. As such, I’d like to encourage you to attend The Green Grid Forum 2013on March 5-6 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
This conference will feature 30+ sessions on financial and operational efficiencies, the value of collaborative regulatory activity, the opportunities and challenges of big data, and software and IT efficiencies. This includes topics such as carbon regulation and taxation, the data center maturity model, the human face of big data, member case studies, etc. Plus, there will be many opportunities to network with data center resource efficiency experts.
Today Microsoft is announcing a public-private collaboration that will deliver low-cost, off-the-grid wireless broadband access to previously unserved locations in rural Kenya—and will do it with the help of solar power.
To deliver broadband to rural locations, the project taps into unused portions of wireless spectrum in the television frequency band—it turns out these so-called “white spaces” are a perfect fit for broadband. Microsoft is delivering broadband access—which will serve a healthcare clinic, schools, a library, and government offices—in collaboration with the Kenyan Ministry of Information and Communications, Kenyan internet service provider Indigo and U.S.-based wireless startup Adaptrum. The project will provide wireless broadband to more than 6,000 people who currently don’t have online access. It’s all part of a broad effort called the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative unveiled today, which you can read more about here.
Last week I sat down with my colleague TJ DiCaprio, a senior director of environmental sustainability at Microsoft and the chief architect of our internal carbon fee. Over the last six months, we’ve received lots of questions about how things are going, what we’ve learned and what’s next. What follows is an edited transcript of our conversation that touches on how the company is responding to an internal price on carbon and some of these investments we’re looking at making in 2013, such as power purchase agreements for renewable energy. Look for both TJ and I at the upcoming Greenbiz Forum – TJ will be speaking in NY on February 20th, and I will be in San Francisco on February 27th. Come say hi!
Last week’s State of the Union address included a major focus on energy efficiency and renewable energy, and this week’s news has a number of stories showing how the private sector is making progress toward those goals. Environmental writer and strategist Andrew Winston published a case study in the Harvard Business Review on Diageo North America, a multi-billion dollar spirits company that has emerged as a leader in decreasing their carbon emissions. Greentech Media also showed that energy efficiency is more crucial to economic productivity than energy production and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission released a very interesting fact on new energy capacity.
At Microsoft, we understand how quickly information technology impacts society. This video with chief environmental strategist Rob Bernard addresses how the cloud is at the forefront of transforming society—and why that’s good news for the environment.