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This week Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers of top U.S. companies, published its 2013 report on how many of the U.S.’s top companies are addressing sustainability challenges. The report includes a letter from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who outlines how Microsoft is using technology to reduce its carbon footprint and how technology can achieve gains in energy efficiency.
Business Roundtable is a who’s who of American business. The companies represented by the organization comprise more than $7.3 trillion in annual revenue and combined represent nearly one-third of the total value of the U.S. stock market. The key theme in this year’s report—which is entitled “Create, Grow, Sustain: How Companies Are Doing Well by Doing Good”—is that companies are making a difference in their communities, developing products that improve lives and are pursuing socially responsible business practices.
Steve’s letter looks at how Microsoft has committed itself to sustainable business practices, particularly with the implementation of our carbon fee. As he writes in the letter, the carbon fee provides “an economic incentive for our operations in over 100 countries to reduce carbon emissions through efficiency measures and increased use of renewable energy.”
We believe that this approach to reducing a company’s carbon footprint is an example of a socially responsible business practice that can be adopted by other companies across a wide range of business sectors. Steve’s letter also addresses the very important role that IT has to play in reducing global greenhouse gas emissions and how research breakthroughs can yield important insights into climate change and biodiversity.
You can read Steve’s letter as well as letters from nearly 150 other business leaders as they talk about efforts each of their companies are taking to improve the quality of life and build a more sustainable world – here.
This is good, but as Mr. Ballmer notes, IT can help, a lot. The cases where the PASS discipline was used to manage energy demonstrated significant outcomes from a multi- user and multi-system model. At the end of the day each of these companies should ask, can we sustain the mindfulness and behavior among disparate people to drive energy strategies?