Microsoft is Going Green (MSFT)

Going green isn't easy but the Redmond tech conglomerate pledges to gradually shift to green energy by 2018 and promote its eco-friendly practices.

Microsoft MSFT

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has earned raves for doing something for the environment: the company pledges to use 50% renewable energy by 2018, an incredible feat considering that the firm recently opened new data centers in Germany.

Microsoft promised to enhance the combined data mix in its data centers and overall business, hoping to reach 50% of the requirement to renewable energy in just two years and boost it to 60% within this decade. The initiative is meant to increase the role of green energy sources within the tech industry.

The software giant plans to go green by boosting energy efficiency of its data centers, working on better energy storage solutions, as well as conducting regular maintenance when using intermittent energy sources such as solar, and wind.

At the moment, the energy mix accounts for 44% for renewable energy and 56% for conventional energy. Apart from pledging to greener fuel, the Redmond, Wa.-based tech company has also inked a new deal that will add 20 megawatts of new solar energy on its Virginia grid.

Microsoft has been actively supporting public policies meant to boost the availability and affordability of renewable energy on the grid.  In fact, the tech conglomerate signed to support the White House’s Clean Power Plan. Microsoft is not alone in adopting earth-friendly practices. Google and Apple also pledged to utilize green energy and put emphasis on eco-friendly practices in their respective processes and operations by joining the RE100 Renewable Energy Initiative.

Microsoft also committed to be more transparent in terms of reporting its energy consumption across regions as well as the mix of power it utilizes for its data centers. The Surface maker also pledges to continue reporting its total energy consumption and the impact of its carbon program.

Data centers utilize an incredible amount of energy. These facilities are notorious for being fuel hungry and they deplete energy so quickly that the situation raised the alarm among conservationists. According to reports, data centers consume about 3% of the total global electricity supply of the planet and account for 2% of total greenhouse gas emissions.

It’s worth noting that Microsoft has been buying renewable energy since 2015, about 2.5 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh), which is more than Google and Apple purchased the same year. In addition, the company is listed as number 2 by the Environmental Protection Agency as the top leading green energy buyers in the US. The same report also noted that Microsoft purchased about 2.7 billion kilowatt-hours of clean energy per year.

In 2015 alone, data centers burned through 416.2 terawatt of electricity, which is more than the total electricity the whole of UK has consumed in the same year. Microsoft’s commitment to green energy – along with major cloud computing companies – will go a long way in terms of reducing green gases emissions and preventing global warming.

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