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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.
As a direct result of our internal carbon fee and Microsoft’s commitment to carbon neutrality, our carbon offset strategy is not only reducing GHG emissions, but it is also helping us reach nearly 3 million people through projects which improve health, protect ecosystems and provide income and employment to local communities. As you saw here on the Microsoft Green Blog a few months ago, two of the projects we are contributing to in Madagascar and Indonesia are focused on ecosystem conservation and community development. Today we’re taking you inside the home as we look at three projects which are using carbon finance to deliver health benefits while reducing GHG emissions through more efficient cookstoves and water filtration.
At Microsoft, we are continuously working to pursue the goal of transforming the energy supply chain toward radically greater efficiency and reduced environmental impact. Partnerships are one way to accomplish this, as shown through initiatives like the wind project in Texas and our new partnership with the University of Texas San Antonio’s Sustainable Energy Research Institute (SERI).
“We take energy, and we transform that into data.” Brian Janous, Microsoft’s director of energy strategy, discusses how Microsoft’s work with datacenters fits into both its energy strategy and its overall environmental sustainability strategy. Brian, who previously spent much of his career working in the energy sector, joined Microsoft because he believed it was at the nexus of energy and IT, two industries currently going through great changes. Datacenters make up a large portion of Microsoft’s carbon footprint. And as Brian shares in this video interview, he has discovered that his work on energy aligns significantly with Microsoft’s sustainability strategy.
Each quarter, Microsoft gives out an Environmental Sustainability Action Award, along with a donation to an environmental charity of the winner’s choice, in recognition of an employee or team who has shown leadership, exemplifying how Microsoft and its employees can have a positive impact.