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Today, we are pleased to announce Microsoft Finland as the winner of our first annual Sustainable Subsidiary of the Year Award! This award was created to recognize Microsoft subsidiaries that are embedding sustainable business practices into their everyday operations and are producing exceptional results.
In Finland, the local sustainability lead, Stella Diesen drove the sustainability strategy for her subsidiary and earned Microsoft Finland the first Sustainable Subsidiary of the Year Award. According to Stella, “I strongly think that much of our success this year lies in how we mobilized our people on a broader basis.”
There are numerous ways that Microsoft Finland stood out, and their outstanding results included a Work Anywhere campaign to engage customers to influence work culture, introduce remote work tools, and reduce impact on the environment. This event was attended by almost 24,000 participants from 714 different organizations, resulting in avoiding 788,430 kilometers driven and 124,000 kg CO2 being created. Other examples of Finland’s success in integrating sustainability practices into its operations include securing funding from Microsoft’s internal Carbon Fund and completing an energy efficiency project on their campus resulting in a ~40% reduction in energy used for refrigerators. The Finnish office also showed decreased business air travel by 5.5% from 2012 – 2013, and was able to keep kilometers driven in company cars flat, despite their growth. These efforts and others have helped Microsoft Finland earn a WWF Green Office certification.
The team’s work went beyond just reducing the operational impact of the Microsoft office. By working with the city of Helsinki through Microsoft’s CityNext initiative the team was able to help the city reduce overall fuel consumption across the city’s entire bus fleet to 5%, which helped to reduce the city’s carbon footprint.
The Finland team is just one great example of the amazing work Microsoft’s worldwide teams are doing to drive change around environmental sustainability. Second place winner Microsoft Mexico earned the title of Most Improved Subsidiary of the Year, and team members helped to drive a coordinated Environmental Sustainability communications plan across all of Latin America.
With over 20 Microsoft subsidiaries participating in our first annual Sustainable Subsidiary of the Year, local sustainability leads have focused a significant amount of time and effort on reducing employee travel, driving energy efficiency improvements in local offices, engaging with customers and partners on the role of technology for environmental sustainability and connecting with local policymakers to advance how Information Technology (IT) can enable a low carbon economy.
We applaud Microsoft Finland and all of the other teams for working so diligently to make Microsoft a more sustainable company worldwide. Congratulations!