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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.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC’s) assessment earlier this month confirmed with 95 percent certainty—a very high scientific threshold—that climate change is caused by human activity. It also recommended that the time is now for society to turn toward solutions to reduce emissions—and that’s particularly true of the business community. Read on to learn more about why environmental advocates are calling for businesses to take responsibility for climate change and how Ford is using big data and analytics to increase the fuel economy of its vehicles—a great case study in how one company can help green its industry.
What does it take to get to zero waste? As reported on the blog in December, the dining facilities on Microsoft’s Puget Sound campus were certified by the Green Restaurant Organization for diverting 99 percent of food waste to recycling and compost. But we’re taking steps to reduce or divert all waste from our operations—from food to packaging to e-waste. This puts us on the path to diverting 90 percent or more of all waste, the industry defined benchmark for achieving Zero Waste.
What if you had an app that could tell you how to make a building more energy-efficient—and you didn’t have to spend a time to yield most of those savings? That’s exactly what new start-ups in the smart building space are beginning to do in projects that echo our own riff on smart buildings. Read on to see how Big Data is shrinking the energy footprint of Washington, DC, and how a new airport in South Korea is featuring new designs that cut back on energy use all while making Incheon our new favorite airport for a layover when traveling to Asia.
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 and provides an inspiring example of how Microsoft and its employees can have a positive impact and change not only on the way we run our business, but also the way our products and services can make a difference for our customers, our partners and for society.