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At Microsoft we know a thing or two about batteries. As a devices and services company, we know that batteries are what let our customers use our devices on the go, and we work hard to optimize our software to extend battery life as long as possible. That’s what makes for a better experience across Microsoft’s devices and services. And as the company’s team focused on environmental sustainability, we’re familiar with the potential for batteries to lay the framework for the next stage of renewable energy innovation.
I’m Rob Symington, I am part of the Environmental Sustainability team at Microsoft and work on employee engagement, web, and social media. Last week I attended the Sustainable Brands 2013 Conference in San Diego, California. It was packed with a cross-section of great companies like Unilever, Coca-Cola, and Intel addressing how they are making sustainability one of the core parts of their businesses. For these companies, sustainability is not only the right thing to do; it’s good business as well.
What type of city is the city of the future? According to Fast Co.Exist, smart growth—in which cities are developed to be more dense—can bring sizable cost savings over suburban development, while laying a foundation for smart cities that thrive in more urban environments. In other news, GreenBiz explains the promise of combining Big Data with human management to cut down energy waste in buildings. Read on to learn more about how smart growth can impact city savings.
As anyone who has been through an earthquake or a hurricane can tell you, natural disasters can cause significant destruction. That’s one reason why improvements in predictive technologies, which can be used to improve forecasts of weather and other natural events, have promised to dramatically improve people’s lives. In Lesvos, a picturesque Greek island situated in the Aegean Sea, researchers are using Microsoft technology to determine the daily wildfire risk during the driest months. The technology is helping firefighters coordinate more effective responses to fires, which shows how technology can be used to better protect the environment at a local level.
What happens when you install 12,000 sensors throughout a city of less than 200,000 people? The old Spanish port city of Santader is finding out—and gaining the attention of global technology companies—thanks to a grant from the European Commission. And in New York, a small battery startup is trying to push the envelope on rechargeable battery design with a goal of making wind and solar more competitive with fossil fuels. Read on to learn more about smart cities and innovative renewable energy storage.