August 2013

This Week in Sustainability: Encouraging Investment in Green Building and Energy Efficiency

This week The Guardian examined the challenge of finding inexpensive financing and attracting Wall Street investors for retrofits aimed at improving energy efficiency. According to the report, relatively small retrofitting projects can make good financial sense because they provide future savings with low risk. But the challenge with finding investors is that the projects are […]

This Week in Sustainability: Carbon Conscious Consumers and the Growing Smart Grid Market

An article in Environmental Leader explains how the roles of corporations and consumers are converging when it comes to sustainability. Consumers are becoming more aware of carbon consumption in a variety of ways, from buying organic food and electric cars to becoming increasingly aware of companies’ environmental practices. Corporations have responded to this by redesigning products […]

Powering Forward

As regular readers of this blog know, Microsoft’s adoption of our carbon neutrality commitment and the creation of an internal carbon fee are helping drive an increase in our purchase of renewable energy and carbon offsets. Earlier this year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized us for our leadership in purchasing nearly 1.9 billion kWh […]

Microsoft Launches Website, Helping Customers Make Environmentally Friendly PC Decisions

When we talk about energy consumption most people think about the electricity used by your PC, kitchen appliances, TV or smartphone. However, the manufacturing process of these products also comes at a cost as it requires a material and energy-intensive process to create them. To make the computer or smartphone you’re using right now, a […]

This Week in Sustainability: How Technology is Transforming Water Conservation

TreeHugger featured a project called FLOW-AID, a mouthful of an acronym that stands for Farm Level Optimal Water Management Assistant for Irrigation Under Deficit. The project is aimed at developing new technologies for irrigation and drainage by drawing on Big Data solutions. Irrigation and drainage are both crucial components of farming. By incorporating solar-powered, low-cost […]

Microsoft’s Electric Vehicle Charging Program Sees Sustained Growth

In 2011, Microsoft launched its pilot program to install Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) around the Redmond Campus. The move was an effort to create an environment that welcomed increased usage of electric vehicles in the Puget Sound region. Two years later there are now a total of 11 EVSE locations on the Redmond Campus […]

This Week in Sustainability: Solar Powered Smartphones and Record Setting Year for U.S. in Renewable Energy Production

SmartPlanet reported on an interesting solar energy project that could have major impact. In the past year, UCLA researchers made great progress in the development of a transparent photovoltaic cell that converts approximately 7.3 percent of the energy received from the sun into usable electric power– this is nearly twice the energy capacity of previously […]