Microsoft CSR and Sustainability

Microsoft is a leading technology brand founded by Bill Gates. The current CEO of the company is Satya Nadella. Apart from various other things including innovation, Bill Gates and company are known for their philanthropic activities. In the recent years several things have changed inside Microsoft and Nadella has been able to bring things into a new light. Microsoft has found a new focus which is empowerment – of the customer and the society. Microsoft invests large sums each year in the welfare of the society, of the poor, the marginalized and the needy. Environmental protection and sustainability has also become an important topic and a key focus at Microsoft. While the company has seen its revenue grow impressively in the recent years, its focus on social welfare and community empowerment has also grown stronger.

As a technology giant, Microsoft uses the power of technology to empower the people and to protect the planet. It’s mission is to help everyone achieve more. While businesses have to generate financial returns, they must also hold themselves accountable to the societal expectations. It is good for both the society and the businesses. Businesses on the one hand help communities and the environment, on the other they themselves benefit form a stronger and socially responsible image. Here are the key highlights of the social responsibility and sustainability efforts undertaken by Microsoft and the results these endeavours are producing.

Corporate Social Responsibility at Microsoft :-

  • Microsoft donated more than $1.4 Billion in (software and services) to NGOs around the world that are engaged in addressing important societal challenges.
  • Microsoft has served more than 196,385 non profits till date.
  • Microsoft employees donated more than $158 million to NGOs serving communities in their localities.
  • Microsoft donated more than $30 million in cash and technological resources to companies that are engaged in serving refugees and other humanitarian causes.
  • Alongwith Microsoft 61 companies have signed the Cybersecurity Tech Accord for protection and empowerment of civilians online.
  • Microsoft provided computer science education to more than 12 million youth in 54 countries to ready them for the jobs of tomorrow.
  • The company also spent above $3 billion to help minority-, disabled-, veteran-, LGBTQ-, and woman-owned businesses in FY18.
  • Microsoft is working in cooperation with Markle Foundation, to empower 50,000 workers by 2020 with the skills required to find success in the digital economy.
  • The TEALS program (Technology Education and literacy in Schools) by Microsoft is aimed at filling the gap in computer science education. Through this program 1,000+ technology volunteers partnered with teachers  for providing computer science education to more than 13,000 students in 344 U.S. high schools.
  • Technology has proved a capable tool to handle some of the most pressing challenges before the society. AI and the other emerging technologies have proved  especially very effective in this area. Microsoft is investing in AI to address global challenges and to handle some of the toughest global challenges and for the advancement of society. AI for Good is Microsoft’s $115 million commitment to empower those working to address humanitarian crises, advance environmental sustainability, and amplify human capability with AI technology and help them achieve their cause.
  • Microsoft has also undertaken several major projects in Africa to help people and entrepreneurs find more growth, be more self dependent and for empowering communities needing technological support for higher security and peaceful living.

Sustainability at Microsoft :-

  • The focus of Microsoft in the area of sustainability is primarily on three areas which include carbon and energy, water and ecosystems (including agriculture, biodiversity, conservation), and waste minimization. Apart from reducing the environmental impact within its operations, the company also focuses upon creating sustainable products and devices and also partners with other companies and agencies to solve environmental challenges. The company has set meaningful goals for itself in all these areas. An internal carbon fee program has helped the company achieve 100 percent carbon neutrality since 2012.
  • In 2018, Microsoft attained 100% carbon neutral operations, and surpassed its goal of sourcing 50% of the electricity consumed by its datacenters from renewable energy sources by year end.
  • The company plans to achieve 75% reduction in carbon emissions through continued carbon neutrality and energy commitments.
  • Over previous five years the company has dedicated $50 million to making AI a tool for solving environmental challenges and helping organizations engaged in this work with cash and technology.
  • The company has reduced product packaging weight by around 20% for the new devices in FY18.

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