At a White House event today, Microsoft joined administration officials and industry leaders in support of driving more progress towards climate change mitigation at the Conference of Parties (COP 21) in Paris later this year. We applaud the White House for bringing together a wide variety of stakeholders to discuss this critical issue.
As innovations continue to advance around resource efficiency and clean energy, information technology can play an important role in empowering every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Microsoft understands and embraces this opportunity to help people and organizations around the world solve environmental and energy challenges. We seek to advance sustainability through the products we offer customers and partners, and through our own actions and practices and partnerships.
To demonstrate our commitment, we have signed the American Business Act on Climate Pledge with the promise to:
- Maintain carbon neutral operations for our emissions from all our operations – including datacenters, offices, labs, manufacturing – through efficiency, green power, and offsets
- Produce and purchase 100% green power for all of our operations
- Offset 100% of emissions from fuel combustion, business air travel, and other sources through supporting carbon offset projects that also drive social benefits
Microsoft has a long standing commitment to these issues and our pledge is consistent with our approach to sustainability– since July 1, 2012, we have been carbon neutral which includes our commitment to 100% green power. We have an internal carbon fee that drives awareness and accountability for carbon use while supporting environmental initiatives across our business groups in over 60 countries. Our work has shown that a commitment to carbon neutrality can achieve significant cost savings, drive technology innovations, and has helped improve the lives of over 3 million people around the world.
We still have much more to do to improve sustainability and help reduce carbon emissions. On July 24th, we, in partnership with the USDA, launched an Innovation Challenge to use data science to improve food resilience. This past month, we announced our partnership with the Natural Capital Project, a ten-year partnership with Stanford University, University of Minnesota, WWF and The Nature Conservancy to enable cities, policy makers, and scientists to leverage cloud computing to better understand and quantify the economic value that nature provides. Microsoft will continue to explore opportunities to improve energy efficiency, enable growth of renewable energy and sustainability both across the company and with our partners around the world.
We hope the American Business Act on Climate Pledge will provide additional momentum for COP21 climate negotiations taking place later this year. At Microsoft, we seek to serve as a model in our commitment to environmental sustainability by delivering on our carbon neutrality commitment and uncovering new ways technology can help us better understand our planet.