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At Microsoft, one of the ways in which employees can contribute directly to reducing the company’s environmental footprint is through their daily commute. We continue to find ways to encourage employees to get to work in a more sustainable way. One of the ways we help reduce the number of vehicles on the road is by providing employees access to programs like The Connector, a free Puget Sound bus service that is available to all fulltime Microsoft employees.
Thousands of teams from more than 70 countries around the world competed in the Imagine Cup National Finals this year, and earlier this month, 34 of those teams traveled to Seattle to compete in the Imagine Cup World Finals. Imagine Cup is an exciting, vibrant event that challenges students to use Microsoft technology to develop innovative solutions. The year-long contest gives students the opportunity to compete in three categories – Games, Innovation and World Citizenship – for a spot at the World Finals, this year held in Seattle, Washington. As part of the World Citizenship category, we saw some really interesting projects that addressed environmental sustainability issues, in particular electricity consumption.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized Microsoft on its list of the largest green power users; and has ranked the companyat number two of the top 100 users in the nation.
As the EPA reports, Microsoft currently purchases nearly 2.5 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually for its U.S. operations, which is enough green power to match 100 percent of Microsoft’s U.S. electricity use. Our annual purchase of green power is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the electricity use of nearly 236,000 average American homes annually. In addition to ranking second on the National Top 100 list, Microsoft also ranks second on both the Fortune 500® list and the Top 30 Tech & Telecom list.
Today, on the 60th anniversary of the historic first ascent of Mount Everest, mountaineer and filmmaker David Breashears and his foundation GlacierWorks have teamed up with Internet Explorer to launch Everest: Rivers of Ice. This immersive, exploration platform allows visitors to travel the peaks and valleys of the Everest region through sweeping multi-touch HTML5 panoramas and interactive features that brings the area to life and, most importantly, highlights the dramatic changes to the area’s surrounding glaciers.