Microsoft Receives 2016 EPA Climate Leadership Award

CLAWinner_OrgLeadershipI’m honored to be accepting a 2016 EPA Climate Leadership Award for Organizational Leadership on behalf of Microsoft tonight. It’s a privilege for our team to be recognized for our own efforts in mobilizing a company-wide response to climate change through an innovative, internal carbon fee.

I also have the opportunity at the Climate Leadership Conference being held this week in Seattle, to speak about Microsoft’s commitment to sustainability and the initiatives, products and services we offer which are helping our company and our customers transform operations in new, innovative and sustainable ways.

Through our work on carbon and our carbon fee program, we have reduced our company-wide emissions by 7.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent through investments in efficiency, green power, and carbon offset community projects; purchased more than 10 billion kilowatt hours of green power; and improved the lives of more than 6 million people through carbon offset community development projects around the world.

In addition to our carbon fee, we’ve been working steadily to support a broader range of business and policy initiatives; including supporting the UN’s Climate Neutral Now work, which encourages individuals and companies to commit to being carbon neutral; the RE100 coalition, which reinforces our commitment to 100% renewable energy; several efforts around the COP21 negotiations in Paris, including the World Economic Forum’s open letter from Climate CEOs and the Paris Pledge for Action; our engagement as a founding member of the White House’s American Business Act On Climate Pledge to amplify our commitments to carbon and clean energy; and signing on to the Corporate Renewable Energy Buyer’s Principles designed to accelerate cost-effective renewable energy options.

As more organizations and industries pursue carbon-neutral commitments, policies and initiatives, we believe this momentum will accelerate a new wave of innovation through both policy and technology as society seeks, more actively, to address climate change.

While national and global efforts are critical, addressing the challenge of climate change is also a local issue, and one that we are committed to here in Washington state. Through the use of software, we’ve cut energy use at our existing 125-building Redmond campus by about $2 million per year through our Energy-Smart Buildings initiative. In addition, all our new buildings are built to high environmental standards, using about 20% less energy than standard buildings, consuming less water and producing less construction waste.

While these are efforts and results that we are proud of, we will continue to do more—both locally and around the world. We are excited about opportunities to improve the impact we are having in improving efficiencies, helping expand access to renewable energy for us and for others, and leveraging data in new and innovative ways to solve pressing environmental problems. Thank you, EPA, for the great honor and we look forward to increasing our work on sustainability.

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