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The following blog post comes from our colleague TJ DiCaprio, who will be participating later today in the Commonwealth Club event titled ‘Forest Wars,’ and who published the article below over on Greenbiz.com.
This evening I’m participating in a discussion at San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club with thought leaders from various industries to explore the environmental and economic impacts of deforestation.
Deforestation represents a large environmental issue: it is the source of 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Each year, 7 billion tons of carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere as 35 million acres of forest are destroyed through slash and burn agriculture, logging and charcoal production. The impact is economic as well as environmental.
The New Year is upon us, and 2013 is expected to be a busy year in environmental sustainability, with GreenBiz predicting in a recent story on 2013 trends that investment in smart buildings and smart cities will continue to grow. The first few days of 2013 also included a down-to-the-wire political showdown as the fiscal cliff was narrowly averted by Congress. The environment was a winner in the final deal, which renewed the wind energy tax credit for an additional year.
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.