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Today, cities house 50 percent of the world’s population, and according to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), they are predicted to house 80 percent by 2050. Urban areas are also responsible for 60 to 80 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions. That’s led many to ask how we can reduce emissions without compromising quality of life. Read on to learn more about how Big Data-enabled ‘Energy 3.0’ and the wisdom of crowds can help cities become more sustainable.
Last week we announced a 20-year deal to purchase wind energyin Texas as part of our commitment to powering our datacenters from cleaner energy sources. But designing datacenters that use less energy is still a top priority for Microsoft.
That’s why our Global Foundation Services team, in partnership with Microsoft Research, is exploring a proof-of-concept datacenter that would integrate fuel cells directly into the server racks of the datacenter. This effectively brings the power plant inside the datacenter and has the potential to double the efficiency of traditional datacenters.
Sustainability and finance are beginning to merge thanks to a couple of new and innovative programs coming from Wall Street. Whether it’s valuing the carbon sequestration potential of a rainforest in Ecuador or helping investors gain more green returns, the finance sector is pioneering innovative approaches to sustainability. Read on to learn more about the possibility of an online natural asset exchange to value natural and social assets and Morgan Stanley’s new Institute for Sustainable Investing to enable its clients to invest in renewable energy and livable communities.
This October, our Microsoft Ireland team received the top honor at the 2013 Repak Recycling Awards for their efforts in packaging reduction and implementing more sustainable packaging protocols. The awards are given to organizations that have a remarkable focus and determination to implement best practices in packaging reduction.
Last year we announced that Microsoft would make a commitment to become carbon neutral. The cornerstone of that commitment was an internal carbon fee that’s designed to increase the company’s costs for using carbon-based forms of energy. An intended result? Buying more renewable energy and becoming more energy efficient. Today, we are pleased to announce that we are moving forward with purchasing renewable energy directly. We have signed a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) for wind energy in Texas that will be funded in part by proceeds from Microsoft’s carbon fee.