"Rio+20 represents a huge opportunity for environmental stakeholders globally to make significant progress towards a common position on sustainable development. Through our work with over 40 international organizations, Microsoft works around the world to facilitate the use of technology in achieving the principles of the Sustainable Development Goals.” – Frank McCosker, General Manager, Microsoft Global Strategic Accounts
Microsoft Supports the UNEP Pavilion Rio+20
Microsoft is grateful for the opportunity to participate in the UNEP Pavilion at this year’s Rio+20 conference. We recognize the importance of Rio+20 as a watershed event in creating the right framework for both the public and private sectors to facilitate sustainable development globally. Microsoft hopes to show how responsible corporate leadership and technology play an essential role in supporting sustainable development – from improving energy efficiency and enabling the smart cities of the future, to providing new environmental data and research, to expanding the benefits of internet connectivity to new communities.
The complex challenge of sustainable development requires insight and action from a range of actors including international organizations, national governments, non-governmental organizations and the private sector. We applaud efforts made by all partners to raise awareness of these issues through the Sustainable Development Goals being discussed at Rio+20.
We recently committed ourselves as an organization, across all our direct operations, to charge an internal carbon fee and become carbon neutral as of July 1, 2012. Microsoft believes this is not only the right thing to do, but also helps promote positive change in the technology industry.
We are also helping our partners, like UNEP, reduce the carbon of their operations. UNEP, with which we entered into a public-private partnership in 2009, last year launched a new carbon neutral headquarters in Nairobi which included the installation of Microsoft’s ITPAC data center, helping the building become a showcase of sustainable design and technology and illustrating green IT leadership.
Our focus at Rio+20 spans three themes: environment, education & skills, and sustainable cities. For each, we’re taking a close look at how technology can best be applied to address some of the most important societal challenges. At the UNEP Pavilion, we are highlighting some of our initiatives across these areas like the Microsoft IT Academy program, which provides a complete IT education solution that bridges the world of education with the world of work, and our partnership with NetHope, which explores how IT can more effectively foster collaboration, drive innovation, and transform technology use in development and humanitarian relief efforts around the world.
We are also participating in the Corporate Sustainability Forum with the UN Global Compact. We are a partner organization of Sustainia, a global collaborative platform for building a model and vision for a sustainable future with corporate leaders across many industry sectors. And we will join the UNIDO Green Industry Platform initiative at Rio+20.
“Microsoft is committed to working with our public and private sector partners to show how technology is a critical component of achieving sustainability globally. Through our own actions, such as implementing an internal carbon fee to achieve carbon neutrality, and our work with partners to drive more intelligent cities, we will continue to work to minimize our impact on the environment.” – Rob Bernard, Chief Environmental Strategist, Microsoft
Microsoft is a worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. The corporation produces software in over 40 languages and has operations in more than 100 countries. Microsoft employs approximately 90,000 individuals worldwide.
Microsoft is committed to exploring how technology can help further sustainable development around the world. Through our own operations and by working with governments, international organizations, non-governmental organizations and industry partners, Microsoft hopes to demonstrate the real impact that technology can have in achieving shared sustainable development goals and expanding the benefits of technology.