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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.
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.
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).