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Carbon Neutrality .:. Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform
Information
  • Submitted by: Microsoft
  • Topic: Climate change
  • Keywords: zero carbon emission, climate change, Renewables, Energy Efficiency
  • Location: USA, Worldwide
  • Date of completion: 2013
  • Click for more information
Deliverables & Resources
Action network
  • This voluntary initiative came from Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All)
Carbon Neutrality

Partner(s)

Microsoft

Description/achievement of initiative

We are instituting a companywide commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by the end of fiscal year 2013. The commitment will apply to Microsoft's business operations in over 100 countries.

Implementation methodologies

As part of our commitment, we are establishing an internal carbon fee based on current market pricing for renewable energy and carbon offsets. Business groups within Microsoft will be financially responsible for the cost to offset their carbon emissions. The carbon price charge-back model, which will be administered through the corporate finance department, is expected to incent carbon reduction through efficiency measures and encourage the usage of renewable sources of energy. For emissions not eliminated through efficiency measures, Microsoft will purchase renewable energy and carbon offsets to achieve the carbon neutrality goal, as well as increasing our purchase of renewable energy.

For Microsoft, Carbon neutrality refers to achieving net zero carbon emissions by offsetting gross carbon emissions from our operations with an equivalent amount of renewable energy and carbon sequestered or offset. The carbon price will be applied to all business groups within Microsoft for the carbon associated with data centers, development labs, offices, and air travel. Business groups within Microsoft will be required to build the carbon price into their budgets. Microsoft has established a carbon price to integrate carbon reduction (measured in metric tons of CO2 equivalent) with business productivity (measured in USD). The internal carbon fee will place a price on carbon based on current market pricing for carbon credits, and make the company's business divisions responsible for the cost of offsetting the carbon emissions associated with their use of the company's data centers, software development labs, and office buildings, as well as business travel. For instance, with this model, the cost to the business for electricity use includes not only the price we pay the utility for electricity, but also the price we pay to offset the carbon emissions associated with our electricity use. For air travel, the cost includes not only the price we pay the airline for the airplane ticket, but also the price we pay to offset the carbon emissions associated with the flight. A summary of our carbon neutral strategy can be found in our whitepaper “Becoming Carbon Neutral: How Microsoft is Becoming Lean, Green, and Accountable”: Becoming carbon neutral

Deliverables
Deliverable Date
Being efficient in our operations is foundational to our approach to environmental sustainability and ultimately delivering on our carbon neutral commitment. Our be lean strategy pillar is about using technology to increase energy efficiency across our operations and decreasing our reliance on air travel. Microsoft is committing to defining targets by the end of fiscal year 2013 for: Data centers: We are evolving our targets for power usage effectiveness (PUE), carbon usage effectiveness (CUE), water usage effectiveness (WUE), and server utilization rates.Offices: We are evaluating a targets based on emissions per housed employee per square foot. Housed employee reflects both employees and contractors assigned a physical office location.Labs: we are in the process of defining energy efficiency targets for our labs. Travel: We are evaluating a target based on air travel miles per employee. 2013
Microsoft is committing to increasing our purchase of renewable energy. As we transition away from non-renewable energy, we are pursuing a portfolio of approaches, including:1. Signing long-term renewable power purchase agreements: We are committing to working with other organizations to procure renewable energy for our energy use in one or more locations, including signing long-term, fixed-price renewable power purchase agreements to both support renewable energy projects. 2. Investing capital in new renewable energy projects: We are committing to collaborate with one or more government and non-government organizations to accelerate energy efficiency projects and to support the supply of new renewable energy 3. Connecting data centers directly to innovative energy sources: We are committing to research and pilot on-site renewable energy generation, such as methane-powered fuel cells for data centers and other energy-intensive infrastructure. 2013
Carbon neutrality by end of fiscal year 2013: For Microsoft, Carbon neutrality refers to achieving net zero carbon emissions by offsetting gross carbon emissions from our operations with an equivalent amount of renewable energy and carbon sequestered or offset. 2013
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