Microsoft outlines its internal carbon fee program - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, Distributed Energy Resources, Energy Efficiency, GHG Emissions, Industrial, Commercial, Distributed Generation, Industrial, Sourcing Renewables  -  November 28, 2016

Microsoft report details carbon program expansion

Since implementing an internal carbon price in 2012, Microsoft Corp. has reduced its CO2-equivalent emissions by more than nine million metric tons, and invested in more 14 million MWh of clean power. 

Those are the hard numbers from the tech company's recently published white paper, "Expanding beyond our carbon neutral operations to accelerate global and local good," which serves as a progress report on its climate-related initiatives as well as a glimpse into the evolution of Microsoft's sustainability strategy more broadly. The white paper follows the launch of  Microsoft's "A Cloud for Global Good" initiative and book, which details more than 70 public policy recommendations in 15 categories the company says will help make cloud technologies more trustworthy, responsible and inclusive.

"This effort reflects our company's view of the potential for cloud-powered transformation globally and the shared responsibility that we have to move technology forward without leaving people behind," the company wrote about that initiative in the white paper. 

In a Nov. 17 blog post, TJ DiCaprio, the chief architect of Microsoft's carbon neutral fee, said the expansion of the company's initial carbon neutral program includes the promotion of "global and local good" in four key areas: renewable energy procurement, community projects, climate grants and reporting. 

In an interview with Smart Energy Decisions earlier this year, Microsoft director of energy strategy Brian Janous detailed the company's activities in renewable energy and energy efficiency, and their accelerating level of significance to the future of the company. 

"I've got a little picture in my office, it's from a brochure Deloitte put together several years ago, and it says 'every company is an energy company,' and then there's an asterisk, and it says, 'and if it isn't, it will be soon.' And to me, that captures a lot of the way that I approach what we're doing at Microsoft," Janous said in June. "It's the realization that, particularly in the cloud space — because energy is the raw material of the cloud — it is what we convert to data to provide all the services that we support." 

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