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One of the great joys of my job, and something that motivates me to come to work every day, is the idea that our work can make a difference. In the past year, our team, along with NGO partners and carbon offset companies, have spent a tremendous amount of time trying to decide how best to leverage Microsoft’s carbon neutral funds. Today, I am pleased to share with you some of the projects we are funding.
As programs like FLOW-AID, profiled recently in this blog post, work on issues around agricultural water conservation, the sustainable use of water has emerged as a major point of discussion among sustainability influencers. Water is one of earth’s most precious resources, and new technology is beginning to reveal ways to help us better protect bodies of water worldwide while utilizing their value. Read on to learn more about how data modeling is assisting in protecting natural areas receiving significant use, while scientists on the other side of the world are finding new ways to harness the ocean for energy with little environmental impact.
Today Microsoft Research, in partnership with researchers from Duke University and North Carolina State University, announced findings that will help determine how to conserve the greatest number of plant species possible by protecting small landmasses. The results of the study affirmed the possibility of achieving two of the most ambitious goals from the 2010 Convention on Biological Diversity: to protect 60 percent of Earth’s plant species by helping protect 17 percent of its land surface. This research is exactly the type of value that we hope technology will add to society’s understanding of our world.
LEED construction has helped bring sustainability into the mainstream while shifting an entire industry toward adopting sustainable practices. But what about making existing structures more sustainable? Read on to see how the building industry is looking at everything from new financing models to technological innovation to make buildings more sustainable.
As irregular weather patterns spur debate on the negative implications of climate change, consumers and companies alike are thinking critically about what can be done to slow its effects. Corporations are responding to consumers’ increased environmental awareness, and many of the solutions they’re putting in place—from more sustainable manufacturing methods to greater purchases of renewable energy—rely in one form or another on technological innovation. Read on to learn more about how consumer trends and innovation are reaching a tipping point toward more sustainable solutions.