Each quarter, the company gives out an Environmental Sustainability Action Award. The award recognizes an employee or team who has shown leadership of how Microsoft and its employees can have a positive impact on the way our products and services can make a difference for our customers, partners and for society.
Our Q3 award is being given to Darrell Smith for leading Microsoft’s Energy-Smart Buildings program and helping drive a presence for Microsoft in the IT building management market. The work Darrell and RE+F (Real Estate and Facilities) are doing is a great display of how IT can greatly increase the energy efficiency of buildings without the need to undertake capital-intensive retrofits to cut building energy costs.
Buildings are the largest contributor to global carbon emissions, accounting for about 40 percent of the global carbon footprint. Commercial buildings alone account for close to 20 percent, about half of the overall total. For many organizations, commercial buildings are often one of the single greatest operational expenses. Darrell knew that with Microsoft’s large portfolio of buildings that he needed to find or create a solution that would better manage our buildings’ energy use.
For the past two years, Darrell has been leading a team that has designed and piloted a Microsoft-based energy management software solution that leverages the base building systems that exist in most office buildings and adds an analytical layer making the buildings “smart” and able to produce data and insights that allow building engineers to adjust and repair systems and dramatically reduce energy consumption. The initial pilot was the subject of an industry whitepaper that was co-authored by Microsoft, Accenture and Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories. In addition, Darrell and Jay Pittenger (Senior Director of Microsoft RE&F for the Puget Sound) authored an article that became the cover story for the trade publication “The Leader.”
Darrell is now deploying the new Energy-Smart Buildings System across the Redmond campus, which is expected to yield millions of dollars in savings each year, reduce the company’s carbon footprint, and establish Microsoft as a leader in the emerging markets for IT-driven building systems. This work is also being leveraged by Microsoft’s account teams in support of customers who are seeking similar solutions for their large building portfolios and by utilities who seek to add more value to the owners of buildings in their service areas. Being a valuable subject matter expert, Darrell is directly involved in customer engagements to share the insight from Microsoft’s experience in its own portfolio to help them determine how similar advances are possible in their own buildings.
With all of these fantastic achievements, we are pleased to honor Darrell with this award. Congratulations, Darrell!