With the U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP21) beginning this week in Paris, Microsoft is pleased to announce that we’ve reaffirmed our own commitment to renewable energy by joining RE100, a collaborative initiative of influential businesses committed to 100% renewable electricity. The goal of the RE100 initiative is to create a market that will help to deliver the emissions cuts needed to put the world on track to limit warming to 2 degrees Celsius.
At Microsoft, we are committed to taking significant action to address climate change. We have been 100 percent carbon neutral since July 2012. To achieve this, we implemented an internal carbon fee model to hold our business groups financially responsible for the cost of reducing and compensating for their carbon emissions. Since we began the fee in July 2012, we have used the funds to purchase more than 10 billion kilowatt hours of green power, reduce our emissions by 7.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent and impact more than 6 million people around the world through our carbon offset projects.
We are also committed to powering our operations with green power. Our goal, was to procure 100 percent green power equal to the volume of our consumption of electricity. By matching the volume (in megawatt-hours [MWh]) of our electricity consumption with external green power investments, I’m proud to say our operations have been fully powered by renewable energy since 2014. These efforts have been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) , which ranked us as the second largest green power purchaser for U.S. in 2015.
Microsoft has made substantial progress as a company in addressing our carbon footprint and supporting renewable energy. However, we believe there is still more that we can do to advance a low-carbon, sustainable economy powered by green energy.
By joining the RE100 initiative, we have the opportunity to collaborate with other sustainability leaders, share best practices, and work collectively to drive change to achieve greater global impact. Together, we send a strong market signal to utilities that there is demand for more renewable energy on the grid, which should in turn lead to increased supply, benefitting both companies and the public.
As climate negotiations begin in earnest in Paris, it is our hope that voluntary efforts like this send a clear message to governments that the private sector is taking action and ready to support an ambitious and robust climate agreement.
Learn more about Microsoft’s investments in green power below: