For a long time, the marketplace has associated technology giant Microsoft with innovation and efficiency. Now the company is vying for accolades in a third area: sustainability.
In an ambitious move to catapult the company’s carbon emissions reduction strategy, Microsoft issued a corporate policy in July 2012 across 14 business divisions in more than 100 countries: Every division would be accountable for its carbon emissions.
Microsoft has put a price on carbon and is including that cost in their profit-and-loss statement across business divisions. By integrating carbon reduction policies with business priorities engages the executives and employees in their commitment to mitigating climate change by investing funds appropriately.
Under the Carbon Neutral and Carbon Free Policies, the company put an internal price on carbon, where each divisions pays 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.
These policies help Microsoft employees band together more than usual. Microsoft is working with Wildlife Works, which runs the Kasigau project in Kenya and emphasizes carbon sequestration, social enterprise and wildlife preservation.
Microsoft believes that climate change is a serious challenge, and supporting carbon sequestration through carbon finance supports local jobs and provides new educational opportunities for the youth — making a huge difference in improving lives.
One of the benefits of setting a carbon neutral policy is to set an example for how a business can run more efficiently, reduce waste and carbon, and address its environmental footprint.