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Microsoft aims to become carbon neutral in July

Anushkar Mohinani | May 8, 2012
Starting FY2013, Microsoft plans to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions across its operations.

Microsoft today said it expects “to become carbon neutral” across its direct operations beginning fiscal year 2013, this July.

In a whitepaper published today, Microsoft unveiled its three key strategies –be lean, be green and be accountable – to “achieving carbon neutrality”.
 
The company’s first strategy is focused on driving energy efficiency in its data centres, software development labs and offices.

Microsoft said it plans to “construct new data centres that average 1.125 PUE (power usage effectiveness) and use 30 to 50 percent less energy than traditional data centres.” Microsoft also said it intends to further increase the efficiency of cooling systems in its existing data centres.

Microsoft said it will reduce its carbon footprint from air travel. It plans to do this by "increasing (employees') use of Microsoft’s collaboration technology as an alternative to travelling for meetings."

The company’s second strategy is targeted towards reducing waste and water usage and investing in renewable energy.

For its third strategy, Microsoft said it will create a “carbon fee”, which will place a price on carbon.

“This accountablilty model will make every Microsoft business unit responsible for the carbon they generate – creating incentives for greater efficiency, increased purchases of renewable energy, better data collection and reporting, and an overall reduction of our environmental impact,” said Microsoft’s chief operating officer, Kevin Turner, in a blog post.

“The goal is to make our business divisions responsible for the cost of offsetting their own carbon emissions,” Turner said.

 

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