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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.
Microsoft plays an important role as a board member company of The Green Grid, the premier global organization focused on improving resource efficiency in information technology and data centers. As such, I’d like to encourage you to attend The Green Grid Forum 2013on March 5-6 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
This conference will feature 30+ sessions on financial and operational efficiencies, the value of collaborative regulatory activity, the opportunities and challenges of big data, and software and IT efficiencies. This includes topics such as carbon regulation and taxation, the data center maturity model, the human face of big data, member case studies, etc. Plus, there will be many opportunities to network with data center resource efficiency experts.
This week marks the 44th anniversary of Earth Day: a good time to celebrate the environmental efforts underway in so many parts of Microsoft and to continue to challenge ourselves to take further strides on this journey. Below are just a few of the many things that are happening around the company, and as Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently highlighted in the Business Roundtable’s 2014 sustainability report:
“At Microsoft, we believe technology has tremendous potential to address environmental challenges and attain a clean energy future. We seek to serve as a model in our commitment to environmental sustainability by delivering on our carbon neutrality commitment and uncovering new ways technology can help us better understand our planet.”
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.