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While the physical design of a device certainly plays an important role in how it consumes power, software can also influence power consumption based on how it is programmed to use the device’s CPU, disk and memory. Windows 8 has numerous features that help make it more energy efficient, but we are also starting to see specific applications on the Windows Store that are helping people understand and measure their Windows PC’s energy use.
Last Thursday evening our very own TJ DiCaprio was awarded the Environmental Protection Agency Individual Climate Leadership Award for the work she has done to reduce carbon pollution and address climate change as Microsoft’s Senior Director of Environmental Sustainability. TJ was recognized for the role she has played in our internal carbon fee initiative.
The hour is upon us…Earth Hour, that is. This Saturday, March 23 at 8:30PM local time, households, businesses and landmarks around the world will turn off non-essential lights and electrical appliances for Earth Hour: a global movement sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund, held every year to raise awareness about the need for greater energy efficiency and sustainability.
In 2011 the United States consumed over 97 Quadrillion (that’s 97 plus 15 zeros) Btu of energy. To give you an idea of what that means: an average computer monitor uses 921 Btu and your average refrigerator uses 2,672 Btu every hour. Nearly 87 percent of our greenhouse gas emissions (the primary driver of climate change) come from energy production and consumption, so energy efficient technology is more important today than ever before. Earth Hour is an important reminder that we should strive to reduce our energy use every day. Technology can increase energy efficiency, and at Microsoft we see information technology (IT) as a key tool that can help reduce energy consumption and address energy and environmental challenges around the world.
To be successful in today’s market, businesses must be efficient. From managing paperwork to managing inventory, efficiency at all levels of business has an effect on the bottom line. At Microsoft, we’re constantly adapting to remain a leading technology company, and that is why we’re proud to support Anywhere Working— a United Kingdom-based group initiative that has called attention to the role flexible working plays in efficiency. Along with the benefits of increased productivity and employee wellbeing, flexible working can also support businesses’ environmental sustainability efforts.
Back in 2011 Microsoft shared the results from a pilot program on our corporate campus in Redmond, Wash., aimed at using technology to improve the energy efficiency of the buildings on our campus. Today, Microsoft’s Energy-Smart Buildings initiative has been named a 2013 Computerworld Honors Laureate for the smart building pilot. Selections for the Computerworld award were made by 22 judges who evaluated the humanitarian benefits and measureable results of applying technology to meet a specific social or business need. The awards ceremony will take place on June 3 in Washington D.C., where five Laureates from each of the 11 categories will be named as finalists. One winner will be chosen from each category’s finalists.