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For the second consecutive year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has named Microsoft to its Green Power Partnership Top 50 List—and this year our ranking increased to second on the Top 50 List.
Today Microsoft is announcing a public-private collaboration that will deliver low-cost, off-the-grid wireless broadband access to previously unserved locations in rural Kenya—and will do it with the help of solar power.
To deliver broadband to rural locations, the project taps into unused portions of wireless spectrum in the television frequency band—it turns out these so-called “white spaces” are a perfect fit for broadband. Microsoft is delivering broadband access—which will serve a healthcare clinic, schools, a library, and government offices—in collaboration with the Kenyan Ministry of Information and Communications, Kenyan internet service provider Indigo and U.S.-based wireless startup Adaptrum. The project will provide wireless broadband to more than 6,000 people who currently don’t have online access. It’s all part of a broad effort called the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative unveiled today, which you can read more about here.
Climate change is a serious challenge for our society and for businesses around the world. As a company, we are focused not only on ways for us to reduce the environmental impact of our business, but also on the important business opportunity climate change presents. We believe that climate change is and will continue to drive significant changes in business and society; this is why last week Microsoft joined the growing number of companies who have signed on to the Climate Declaration, a nonpartisan statement from the business community that “tackling climate change is one of America’s greatest economic opportunities of the 21st Century.”
Last week I sat down with my colleague TJ DiCaprio, a senior director of environmental sustainability at Microsoft and the chief architect of our internal carbon fee. Over the last six months, we’ve received lots of questions about how things are going, what we’ve learned and what’s next. What follows is an edited transcript of our conversation that touches on how the company is responding to an internal price on carbon and some of these investments we’re looking at making in 2013, such as power purchase agreements for renewable energy. Look for both TJ and I at the upcoming Greenbiz Forum – TJ will be speaking in NY on February 20th, and I will be in San Francisco on February 27th. Come say hi!