In 2012 Microsoft pledged to be carbon neutral as a company. To date, Microsoft has purchased carbon credits from 20 projects (on four continents), seven of which are forest conservation, avoided deforestation and reforestation projects.
The range of project types that Microsoft invests in will help reduce threats to forests worldwide from illegal logging, unsustainable agriculture, charcoal production, palm oil conversion and encroachment of roads and settlements.
1.6 Million Acres
The impact to local ecosystems is clear; the four most recent forestry projects in the portfolio have planted more than six million trees, with more than 180 species in projects areas classified as critically endangered, endangered or vulnerable.
These projects will protect or rehabilitate a total area of nearly 1.6 million acres, roughly the size of Delaware.
In addition to forest project, Microsoft is also involved in energy efficient cook stove projects and renewable energy projects.
Six Million Trees
The Meru Nanyuki Community Reforestation project in Kenya where small-hold farmers combines reforestation with community development activities, enabling households to improve access to food and create additional sources of income beyond subsistence farming.
This community program model now includes 53,341 members and has resulted in over six million trees being planted.
Another project, The Acre Amazonian Rainforest Conservation project aims to conserve nearly 35,000 hectares (think 70,000 football or soccer fields) of pristine rainforest that is otherwise at risk of being converted into cattle pasture.
By funding work with local families to support them in growing profitable crops, organically rearing pigs and using rotational cattle pastures, this project will avoid significant deforestation and improve local economies.
The company stays accountable through an internal carbon fee model that charges teams across the company for emissions related to their energy consumption and business travel. The fees collected by this model go into a fund used to support internal efficiency and green energy purchases.
Microsoft has for the past three years spent considerable effort to turning their head office in Redmond, Washington, into one of the smartest corporate campuses in the world. They also signed a long term deal to buy clean energy from the 110-megawatt Keechi wind project in Texas.
Parts of the fees is invested in carbon offsetting projects that may not have happened without the finance from purchase of carbon credits.