Microsoft just announced that it will effectively be carbon neutral by the next fiscal year. But the way it plans to do so is much more interesting than your typical “buy a bunch of offsets” emissions-reduction scheme—instead, the company is creating a “carbon price and charge back model” that will levy fees on each of its various internal business groups for the emissions they generate. In other words, Microsoft is imposing a carbon price on itself.
The fee applies to data centers, office buildings, etc—each arm of the many-tentacled business. An extensive software system will tally how much carbon each “business unit” is emitting, and how much it will be docked. That amount paid will go into a company-wide investment fund that will be used to purchase renewable energy, and, yes, offsets.
The business groups can opt to invest in energy efficiency or local renewable power—which will likely be cheaper than coughing up the fees. Microsoft will essentially be running its own mini-version of a cap and trade. But whether or not it actually works will depend entirely on how stringently the system is enforced, and the price Microsoft sets on carbon emissions. If properly calibrated, it should prove a worthy experiment in reducing CO2 with innovative corporate governance.
(via scinerds)Source: miaoued