Microsoft’s 2013 Annual Citizenship Report and Environmental Sustainability

This week, Microsoft released its tenth annual Citizenship Report that details the company’s assessment of its citizenship work over the past fiscal year. An important piece of this report includes an overview of some of the environmental commitments and work of Microsoft. This year’s report focuses on our commitment to carbon neutrality and to reducing the environmental impact of our operations.0312.Citizenship

The company continues to make great strides toward environmentally sustainable practices, and in the past year alone we’ve:

  • More than doubled our investment in renewable energy by purchasing 2.3 billion kWh of green power globally.
  • Offset more than 300,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions through a growing portfolio of innovative carbon-offset projects.
  • Invested $5.5 million in a demonstration project to power a data center in Cheyenne, Wyoming using biogas from a wastewater treatment facility. This investment allows the data center to operate independent of the grid, sustainably powering cloud services while providing ultra-clean, carbon neutral electricity.

The foundation of many of our investments is our commitment made last June to achieving carbon neutrality by the end of our 2013 fiscal year. Microsoft’s carbon fee—which puts a price on all carbon emissions associated with our facilities, data centers and air travel—has begun to create a culture shift within Microsoft and is making environmental sustainability an increasingly important part of how Microsoft does business. Teams across the company are now financially responsible for the cost to offset their carbon emissions and we’re seeing tangible and meaningful results.

We’re particularly proud of our carbon offsets program, which currently includes 15 projects around the world focusing on investments in renewable energy generation, reforestation and cookstoves and methane capture. Microsoft’s carbon fee provided the financial support for projects that help reduce Microsoft’s carbon footprint, but more importantly, invest in economic and society benefits that impact local communities.

Microsoft’s environmental commitments remain stronger than ever, and in the next fiscal year the company will continue working to evolve its environmental practices including the carbon neutral program and investments.

Other priorities for the company include a continued focus on resourcing renewable power and energy globally and working with cities and groups around the world to leverage IT and cloud computing efficiencies to reduce emissions and energy usage. We will continue to share those updates and stories throughout the year here on the Microsoft Green Blog.

We encourage you to read more about this year’s Citizenship Report in this post on the Official Microsoft Blog.

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