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Microsoft Releases Carbon Fee Playbook

Earlier this month, the CDP released a report highlighting 29 public U.S. companies across various industries that have incorporated an internal carbon price as a strategic planning tool, effectively holding themselves accountable for the carbon emissions produced as a result of daily operations.

One of the companies, Microsoft, announced last week on its blog that it now has “a common language for how to drive awareness around and begin to reduce emissions.” As such, the tech giant has released its “Carbon Fee Playbook,” which provides a comprehensive overview of the company’s approach to creating and implementing an internal carbon price and fee — into which Chief Environmental Strategist Rob Bernard provided further insight at the New Metrics of Sustainable Business conference in September.

Microsoft says the guide provides a five-step process that any company or organization can take and customize for inclusion in its own business and financial strategies. It is designed for leaders who are interested in learning more about Microsoft’s fee, why it might be helpful to their organization and how to go about implementation.

“In this paper, Microsoft provides the nuts and bolts of its own unique model, making the design, goals and process transparent so you can assess its viability for your own organization,” CERES president Mindy Lubber explains in the playbook.

Microsoft says the goal of the guide is “to demonstrate how the creation of a carbon fee model can be simplified, and what a large impact it can make on an organization to drive behavior change.”

On July 1, 2012, Microsoft ;issued a new corporate policy across its 14 business divisions in over 100 countries, making every division accountable for its own carbon emissions, which is when the company instated its internal carbon fee.

"By internalizing the otherwise external cost of pollution, the price of carbon is now part of the profit and loss statement across business divisions,” TJ DiCaprio, Microsoft’s Senior Director of Environmental Sustainability, told CSRWire. “We have now integrated this across the financial structure and engaged the executives and employees on our commitment to mitigating climate change and investing the funds appropriately.”

According to a post on the Microsoft blog, these investments include 15 carbon offset projects, including initiatives in India, Peru, Guatemala, Mongolia, China, Brazil, Kenya, Cambodia, Turkey and the U.S.

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