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One year ago today, Ceres and its Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy (BICEP) coalition launched 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.” Microsoft is a proud signatory of the Climate Declaration, and we strongly agree that innovation has an essential role to play in responding to the threat of climate change.
In the New York Times best-selling book Ready Player One, the protagonist powers his laptop by bicycle. While Microsoft is seeking other alternative energy sources to power the cloud, we are also big proponents of bicycle commuting at our Puget Sound campus, home to 50,000 employees. In fact, the League of American Cyclistshas deemed Microsoft a silver-level Bicycle Friendly Business among other recognitions.
At our Redmond campus, Microsoft incorporates many amenities for two-wheeled commuters, including 23 covered and secure parking cages, on-site bicycle shops with subsidized tune-ups and complimentary shower facilities at all worksites. In addition to the bicycle lanes throughout our campus, the network of regional trails in Redmond extend the safe and functional experience for our cyclists. In fact, Redmond is home to the only velodrome in Washington State and proudly calls itself the Bicycle Capital of the Northwest.
The green building game is changing. A recent McGraw-Hill Construction SmartMarket Report characterized the green building movement as one that has shifted from ‘push’ to ‘pull,’ as companies around the world are recognizing both the environmental and the business value of sustainable, energy efficient buildings. Similar to fuel efficiency ratings for vehicles, rating and disclosing the energy performance of buildings is becoming increasingly common around the world. For that reason, predicting a future building’s energy consumption before breaking ground is important for optimizing building designs and developing these ratings. But predicting a building’s energy consumption requires energy-use simulation on a scale that most architecture firms can’t achieve without a research lab and enormous computing power. At Microsoft, we’re working to change that.