Microsoft Wants Greener Cloud Data Centers
By all accounts, Microsoft already runs a pretty tight ship when it comes to making its business practices environmentally friendly. Since 2014, the Redmond, Wash., tech titan has been completely powered by renewable sources, using a combination of direct clean power purchases and renewable energy certificates that offset carbon emissions.
This week, Microsoft said that it plans to increase the amount of renewable energy that flows directly into its cloud data centers.
"As we move forward, we will continue to purchase renewable energy certificates to ensure we reduce our carbon emissions to zero," said Brad Smith, president and chief legal officer at Microsoft, in a May 19 announcement. "But more important, we are setting goals to grow the percent of wind, solar, and hydropower energy we purchase directly and through the grid to 50 percent by 2018, 60 percent early in the next decade, and to an ongoing and higher percentage in future years beyond that."
Currently, 44 percent of the electricity consumed by Microsoft's data centers comes from wind farms, solar panels and hydroelectric plants, Smith noted.
Microsoft pledges to add more direct sources of clean, renewable power to its energy mix and work with the communities in which it operates to improve access.
For the sake of transparency, Microsoft also plans to publicly publish its energy statistics on an annual basis. The report will include figures on its global and regional energy consumption, renewable energy certificate purchases and other metrics that will offer insight into the company's energy use and investments.