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This week, Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers of top U.S. companies, published its 2014 report on how 150 of the U.S.’s top companies are demonstrating success in their sustainability efforts. The report includes a letter from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who outlines how Microsoft is meeting its commitment to become carbon neutral and using technology to discover new ways to better understand our planet.
As Microsoft embraces a more thoughtful approach to powering the cloud, we’re looking at how we can reinvent the datacenter to be more efficient and use more sustainable energy sources. Very few cities have embraced the clean energy economy like San Antonio and its mayor, Julian Castro. In addition, The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) has demonstrated its commitment to a more sustainable energy future by establishing The Texas Sustainable Energy Research Institute (SERI) under the leadership of Dr. Les Shephard, formerly of Sandia National Lab. With one of our largest datacenters located in San Antonio, we saw an opportunity to work with the city’s renewable energy community on the role of datacenters in accelerating the growth of clean energy.
By now, it is likely common knowledge that driving accountability for carbon emissions is an important part of Microsoft’s commitment to carbon neutrality (or visit past blog posts for a refresher on our carbon fee program, including our Carbon Fee Playbook). Fortunately for our planet, carbon accountability is getting more attention both in the media and with companies and individuals who are able to help make a difference, and we are excited to play a part in increasing awareness around this issue. Recently, the Climate Disclosure Project (CDP) released a whitepaper featuring Rob Bernard and other thought leaders that focused on how corporations use carbon prices.
Earlier this week Microsoft, along with organizations like Goodwill Industries, Xerox and Sony America, were announced as founding members of R2 Leaders. R2 Leaders are organisations that encourage use of the R2 Standard and have demonstrated a commitment to the safe, sensible and sustainable repair and recycling of used electronics. This reflects Microsoft’s commitment to support the development of standards for better reuse and recycling of electronic devices around the world. The R2 Standard for electronics disposal sets forth requirements relating to environmental, health, safety, and security aspects of electronics reuse and recycling. It also ensures that more toxic material streams are managed safely and responsibly by downstream vendors – all the way to final disposition. It also prohibits e-recyclers and their downstream vendors from exporting these more toxic materials to countries that have enacted laws making their import illegal. Worldwide, over 540 facilities in 17 countries are certified to the R2 Standard.