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This week Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers of top U.S. companies, published its 2013 reporton how many of the U.S.’s top companies are addressing sustainability challenges. The report includes a letter from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who outlines how Microsoft is using technology to reduce its carbon footprint and how technology can achieve gains in energy efficiency.
Business Roundtable is a who’s who of American business. The companies represented by the organization comprise more than $7.3 trillion in annual revenue and combined represent nearly one-third of the total value of the U.S. stock market. The key theme in this year’s report—which is entitled “Create, Grow, Sustain: How Companies Are Doing Well by Doing Good”—is that companies are making a difference in their communities, developing products that improve lives and are pursuing socially responsible business practices.
Yesterday, the Corporate Eco Forum (CEF) awarded our colleague Tamara “TJ” DiCaprio with the 2014 C.K. Prahalad Award. The award, presented at the Corporate Eco Forum’s fifth annual C.K. Prahalad Awards ceremony, recognized winners for demonstrating “globally significant private sector action that exemplifies the fundamental connection between sustainability, innovation and long-term business success in a globalizing world.” The two other recipients of the award included Robert Carter, executive vice president of information services and chief information officer at FedEx, and The Global Water Challenge.
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.
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.