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We’re always interested in the role that IT is playing in shaping how resources get used in the agricultural sector—figuring out how to grow and produce food more efficiently and using fewer resources will become more and more important over the coming years.
One experiment in urban farming is taking place right under our own roof here at Microsoft, run by Mark Freeman and the company’s dining services team, Dining at Microsoft. By growing food onsite and vertically integrating part of our food production, Dining at Microsoft has created a unique opportunity to increase the overall quality of the customer experience, improve the quality of the produce, and decrease the company’s ecological footprint.
Microsoft is once again partnering with others to further fuel cell innovations, with the goal of developing a very efficient, low-cost fuel cell system. Microsoft, Redox Power Systems LLC, the University of Maryland and Trans-Tech Inc. were recently awarded $5 million by the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) to develop transformational fuel cells.
As Microsoft has embraced its identity as a devices and services company, we’ve also embraced energy’s role in powering the cloud. In the past 12 months, we have made significant progress on an energy strategy that will reduce the resources required to deliver cloud services, from our power purchase agreement with a 110 MW wind farm in Texas, to datacenter innovations like in-rack power generation and biogas-powered datacenters. These initiatives are bound together by our objective to transform the energy supply chain toward radically greater efficiency and reduced environmental impact. We are pursuing this objective in three ways
Microsoft is committed to reducing our environmental footprint, and over the past two years we continue to meet our goal of becoming carbon neutral. Our approach to meeting that goal, however, continues to evolve. Today, we are announcing another move to make our operations more environmentally sustainable by signing a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) for wind energy in Illinois that will be funded in part by proceeds from Microsoft’s carbon fee.