Last week, in my “Earth Day 2012: A progress report” blog post, I was happy to report that, through a combination of energy efficiency measures and an investment in high-quality externally verified renewable energy and carbon reduction projects, Microsoft met its goal of reducing our carbon emissions by at least 30 percent per unity of revenue below our 2007 baseline. I write now to share that those investments in renewable energy and carbon reduction projects have also resulted in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) listing Microsoft third in its Top 50 list of the largest green power purchasers in the U.S.
According to the EPA’s Green Power Partnership program, Microsoft earned this recognition by purchasing more than 1.1 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually, which is enough green power to meet 46 percent of our electricity use, and is the annual equivalent to taking more than 150,000 passenger vehicles off the road. Our choice to purchase high-quality renewable energy certificates (RECs) from Sterling Planet also helped us earn this distinction.
In announcing the release of its 2012 Top 50, Blaine Collison, the director of EPA’s Green Power Partnership, said of Microsoft, “EPA is excited to welcome Microsoft as a Green Power Partner and congratulates the company on its No. 3 ranking on our Top 50 list of green-organizations. By opting to use clean, renewable energy, Microsoft is helping to grow the nation’s green power market and reducing harmful carbon pollution.”
Achieving our 2012 carbon reduction goal is an important milestone on our sustainability journey, but it is also just the beginning. Within the next few weeks, we will announce our next goal for carbon reductions and some significant ways we will continue to tackle our environmental footprint and invest in cleaner renewable energy.