Microsoft Pledges to Go Carbon Neutral in July

Microsoft has made an ambitious pledge to be carbon neutral from July 1, the start of its next fiscal year.

Chief operating officer (COO) Kevin Turner said the company will be "carbon neutral across all our direct operations including data centres, software development labs, air travel, and office buildings."

Turner promised a major effort to cut emissions. "For emissions not eliminated through efficiency measures, Microsoft will purchase renewable energy and carbon offsets," he wrote in a blog post.

The company is setting up a system of internal incentives to drive the company's green ambitions. Turner announced a plan to "infuse carbon awareness into every part of our business around the world. To achieve this goal, we have created an accountability model which will make every Microsoft business unit responsible for the carbon they generate."

The effort is not new; Microsoft announced three years ago that it was cutting its carbon emissions by 30 percent . It developed a free tool to help companies identify their carbon footprint.

Microsoft will set its own internal carbon price -- based on market pricing of renewable energy and carbon offsets, which will be applied in more than 100 countries. The carbon fee takes Microsoft's environmental commitment from "our facilities and data centers, to our supply chain, to the efficiency of our software products and services," said Turner.

"We recognize that we are not the first company to commit to carbon neutrality, but we are hopeful that our decision will encourage other companies, large and small, to look at what they can do to address this important issue," he added.

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