Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ GS: MSFT) undertook a pledge last year to become a carbon neutral company. It brought out a new policy to charge its various business divisions for their carbon emissions. This policy has encouraged the company’s businesses to improve their energy efficiency. At the same time, Microsoft is using the money raised in this manner to purchase Renewable Energy Certificates as well as providing funding to sustainable projects around the world.
At present, Microsoft has provided its support to 15 diverse projects globally. The projects range from sustainable agriculture and reforestation in Kenya to biodiversity conservation in Brazil to a wind farm in China. It is also supporting projects in India, Cambodia, Guatemala, Peru, Turkey and even the United States. The company says that its carbon offset strategy not only helps offset global emissions, but it also delivers economic, social and education benefits.
In Brazil, Microsoft is funding the Acre Amazonian Reforestation Project that is a partnership between NGOs and local communities with a goal to preserve 86,500 acres. It promotes sustainable farming practices that do not exacerbate deforestation. In the Kenya, the company is supporting the Meru Nanyuki Community Reforestation Project, which provides training to farmers in better land management practices. The project involves 53,341 members and it has planted more than six million trees.
In Mongolia, the company is funding a project that allows poor households to use more energy efficient cook stoves that save up to 60 percent in costs and heating fuel requirements. In China, the company is supporting the 50 megawatt Chifeng Wind Power Project, which generates 130,000 MWH of energy a year. Apart from such diverse projects, Microsoft is also engaged in the funding and promotion of ambitious pilot projects that are testing ways to create greener and smarter buildings without expensive retrofits. The company is the second-largest user of green power in the US after Intel, purchasing more than 1.9 billion KWH a year, totaling about 80 percent of its electricity use.
Source: Sustainable Business
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