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As anyone who has been through an earthquake or a hurricane can tell you, natural disasters can cause significant destruction. That’s one reason why improvements in predictive technologies, which can be used to improve forecasts of weather and other natural events, have promised to dramatically improve people’s lives. In Lesvos, a picturesque Greek island situated in the Aegean Sea, researchers are using Microsoft technology to determine the daily wildfire risk during the driest months. The technology is helping firefighters coordinate more effective responses to fires, which shows how technology can be used to better protect the environment at a local level.
I’m Rob Symington, I am part of the Environmental Sustainability team at Microsoft and work on employee engagement, web, and social media. Last week I attended the Sustainable Brands 2013 Conference in San Diego, California. It was packed with a cross-section of great companies like Unilever, Coca-Cola, and Intel addressing how they are making sustainability one of the core parts of their businesses. For these companies, sustainability is not only the right thing to do; it’s good business as well.
At Microsoft we know a thing or two about batteries. As a devices and services company, we know that batteries are what let our customers use our devices on the go, and we work hard to optimize our software to extend battery life as long as possible. That’s what makes for a better experience across Microsoft’s devices and services. And as the company’s team focused on environmental sustainability, we’re familiar with the potential for batteries to lay the framework for the next stage of renewable energy innovation.
How can U.S. businesses save as much as $190 billion? By cutting carbon emissions. In fact, a new report from the World Wildlife Fund and the Carbon Disclosure Project found that U.S. businesses have an important role to play in reducing carbon emissions enough to prevent a 2 degree Celsius increase in global temperatures—the line at which scientists believe the impact of climate change will be difficult to reverse. Other research is showing that people have more faith in businesses to address the challenge of climate change than they have in government. Read on to learn more about why the private sector needs to take a leading role in transitioning toward a low-carbon economy.
It’s no secret that the growth in the data centers that power cloud computing have become increasingly responsible for growth in greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, some estimates put the size of the information and communications technology sector at 2 percent of global emissions. At Microsoft we recognize that, because our data centers represent a significant portion of our environmental footprint, we have a responsibility to reduce the emissions associated with our data centers.