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Each quarter, Microsoft gives out an Environmental Sustainability Action Award, along with a donation to an environmental charity of the winner’s choice, in recognition of an employee or team who has shown leadership, exemplifying how Microsoft and its employees can have a positive impact.
This week marks the 44th anniversary of Earth Day: a good time to celebrate the environmental efforts underway in so many parts of Microsoft and to continue to challenge ourselves to take further strides on this journey. Below are just a few of the many things that are happening around the company, and as Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently highlighted in the Business Roundtable’s 2014 sustainability report:
“At Microsoft, we believe technology has tremendous potential to address environmental challenges and attain a clean energy future. We seek to serve as a model in our commitment to environmental sustainability by delivering on our carbon neutrality commitment and uncovering new ways technology can help us better understand our planet.”
This week, Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers of top U.S. companies, published its 2014 report on how 150 of the U.S.’s top companies are demonstrating success in their sustainability efforts. The report includes a letter from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who outlines how Microsoft is meeting its commitment to become carbon neutral and using technology to discover new ways to better understand our planet.
As Microsoft embraces a more thoughtful approach to powering the cloud, we’re looking at how we can reinvent the datacenter to be more efficient and use more sustainable energy sources. Very few cities have embraced the clean energy economy like San Antonio and its mayor, Julian Castro. In addition, The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) has demonstrated its commitment to a more sustainable energy future by establishing The Texas Sustainable Energy Research Institute (SERI) under the leadership of Dr. Les Shephard, formerly of Sandia National Lab. With one of our largest datacenters located in San Antonio, we saw an opportunity to work with the city’s renewable energy community on the role of datacenters in accelerating the growth of clean energy.
As Microsoft has embraced its identity as a devices and services company, we’ve also embraced energy’s role in powering the cloud. In the past 12 months, we have made significant progress on an energy strategy that will reduce the resources required to deliver cloud services, from our power purchase agreement with a 110 MW wind farm in Texas, to datacenter innovations like in-rack power generation and biogas-powered datacenters. These initiatives are bound together by our objective to transform the energy supply chain toward radically greater efficiency and reduced environmental impact. We are pursuing this objective in three ways