Microsoft’s Efforts to Integrate Sustainability into its Financial Model


by Aman Singh

On July 1, 2012, Microsoft issued a new corporate policy across 14 business divisions in over 100 countries: Every division would now be accountable for its carbon emissions.

Under the Carbon Neutral and Carbon Free Policies, the company put an internal price on carbon, where the divisions pay an incremental price linked with the carbon emissions associated with energy consumption and business air travel. The funds are then used to invest internally in energy efficiency, renewable energy and carbon offset projects globally.

A tad ambitious?

Not at all, believes TJ DiCaprio, Senior Director of Environmental Sustainability at Microsoft. “We’re following three pillars to achieve carbon neutrality: 1) Be lean through reducing our energy consumption by driving radical efficiency through use of technology, and reduce air travel to internal meetings. Our primary emissions, for example, come from our data centers’ energy consumption. We also monitor and reduce energy consumption from our offices and software development labs. That’s roughly 30 million square feet worldwide,” she explains.

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