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Environmental sustainability is at the core of our businesses practices around the world. As we strive to reduce the impact of our own operations and products, green efforts made by our offices around the world are helping us elevate our position as a sustainability leader in the global technology sector.
Earlier this month Microsoft’s India offices participated in Green Office Week, which included four days of presentations on everyday actions Microsoft India employees could take to contribute to the company’s sustainability efforts. The week culminated with employees making ‘green’ resolutions for the coming year.
Last week 87 student teams from 71 countries converged in St. Petersburg, Russia, to compete in the Microsoft Imagine Cup Worldwide Finals. An exciting and vibrant event, Imagine Cup challenges students to use technology to solve the toughest problems in the world. The year-long contest first has students compete in local events for a spot in the finals. Projects are entered into six competitions: Games, Innovation, World Citizenship, Windows 8, Windows Phone and Windows Azure. Of the dozens of innovative projects, quite a few addressed issues in sustainability, from waste management to beekeeping.
At Microsoft we’re firm believers in the power of technology to address sustainability challenges, whether that’s by making cities smarter or enhancing efforts in energy efficiency. Smart cities were front and center in SmartPlanet, which cited a report that the collective ‘smart city industry’ could be poised for threefold growth by decade’s end. Meanwhile, the New York Times Green Blog asked how the Obama Administration will tackle climate change in the next four years by covering a guide released by the World Resources Institute.
Some of the greatest obstacles to widespread growth of renewable energy have to do with intermittency and impacts on wildlife. But new approaches to IT are beginning to address those challenges, like the ability to forecasting wind power that lets utilities reduce their dependency on backup power plants. In another project, Big Data is helping reduce the impacts of wind turbines on wildlife. Read on to learn more about how IT is having a positive impact on sustainable energy and the environment.