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One of the great joys of my job, and something that motivates me to come to work every day, is the idea that our work can make a difference. In the past year, our team, along with NGO partners and carbon offset companies, have spent a tremendous amount of time trying to decide how best to leverage Microsoft’s carbon neutral funds. Today, I am pleased to share with you some of the projects we are funding.
Climate change is a serious challenge for our society and for businesses around the world. As a company, we are focused not only on ways for us to reduce the environmental impact of our business, but also on the important business opportunity climate change presents. We believe that climate change is and will continue to drive significant changes in business and society; this is why last week Microsoft joined the growing number of companies who have signed on to the Climate Declaration, a nonpartisan statement from the business community that “tackling climate change is one of America’s greatest economic opportunities of the 21st Century.”
Today the CDP issued its annual climate change report and included Microsoft for the first time ever in the Global 500 Climate Performance Leadership Index (CPLI) for the company’s commitment to climate change action and transparency in disclosing our carbon emissions. We’re honored that Microsoft is one of many companies recognized for its leadership in responding to climate change.
As programs like FLOW-AID, profiled recently in this blog post, work on issues around agricultural water conservation, the sustainable use of water has emerged as a major point of discussion among sustainability influencers. Water is one of earth’s most precious resources, and new technology is beginning to reveal ways to help us better protect bodies of water worldwide while utilizing their value. Read on to learn more about how data modeling is assisting in protecting natural areas receiving significant use, while scientists on the other side of the world are finding new ways to harness the ocean for energy with little environmental impact.
Today Microsoft Research, in partnership with researchers from Duke University and North Carolina State University, announced findings that will help determine how to conserve the greatest number of plant species possible by protecting small landmasses. The results of the study affirmed the possibility of achieving two of the most ambitious goals from the 2010 Convention on Biological Diversity: to protect 60 percent of Earth’s plant species by helping protect 17 percent of its land surface. This research is exactly the type of value that we hope technology will add to society’s understanding of our world.