More companies prefer green bonds, carbon taxes

February 7, 2018 by  
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Experts from Citi, Microsoft and Bank of America weigh in on the latest corporate efforts to reach dramatic emissions targets.

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More companies prefer green bonds, carbon taxes

How Microsoft computes the business case for water stewardship

January 22, 2018 by  
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Microsoft is at the beginning of a journey towards better water management, responding to increasing global water stress due to climate change, population increases and economic development. “How do we bring better orchestration and a more formalized approach to water stewardship for Microsoft data centers, manufacturing sites and real estate offices around the world?” said Josh Henretig, senior director of sustainability at Microsoft. 

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How Microsoft computes the business case for water stewardship

The Origin Treehouse has an amazing interior that will blow your mind

January 19, 2018 by  
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Paris-based firm Atelier LAVIT just unveiled a beautiful treehouse with a surprisingly sophisticated twist. The octagon-shaped Origin Treehouse wraps around a hundred-year-old oak in a lush canopy of treetops. While some treehouse designers take a more rustic approach to their interiors, the French architects went another route, creating a living space that provides hotel-like comfort – and it even features a heated spa and lounge area. The Origin Treehouse consists of two structure: a platform with a heated spa and a lounge area that sits on a lower level. The second structure is a soaring “birds nest” that’s hidden by the lush foliage. High up in the trees, the 250-square-foot treehouse is accessed via a suspended walkway from the first platform. Related: Microsoft unveils amazing treehouse office where employees can brainstorm in fresh air Two large sliding glass doors open up to the living space, whose sophisticated design is certainly unique in the world of treehouses. The interior was based on the principles of hotel design: it’s simple, elegant and clutter-free. The interior walls are lined with light poplar panels, giving the space a clean, bright feel. Just past the living space lies a small sitting area, a bedroom, the bathroom, and a technical closet. The octagonal shape of the treehouse allowed the architects to install plenty of large windows, which flood the interior with natural light. Those wanting to get even closer to nature can take a wooden ladder from the back deck to a stunning rooftop terrace that provides panoramic views of the forest. According to the architects, the cabin’s unique design was meant to blend into the serene forestscape: “Origin Tree House discreetly stands out among the centenarian oaks of the Château de Raray forest, as if it had always been part of the scenery. Majestic and elegant, it integrates and completes an already impressive landscape, sublimating it by offering a shelter.” + Atelier LAVIT Via Contemporist Photography by Marco Lavit Nicora

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The Origin Treehouse has an amazing interior that will blow your mind

Microsoft aims AI at Earth’s sustainability sphere

January 4, 2018 by  
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Artificial intelligence (AI) is helping us drive and navigate the streets better and identify faces on social media better, but “there’s not a galvanizing force to direct those same technologies at critical sustainability problems,” said Josh Henretig, senior director of environmental sustainability at Microsoft. 

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Microsoft aims AI at Earth’s sustainability sphere

Microsoft is razing its Redmond campus to build a sustainable mini city

December 1, 2017 by  
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If you thought Microsoft’s awesome treehouse offices were the ultimate step in the tech giant’s efforts to make its employees a top priority, think again. The tech giant just announced that it will be razing its 500-acre Redmond campus in order to construct a sustainable Microsoft mini city, complete with 18 new buildings, a two-acre open plaza , retail space, jogging and walking trails, two soccer fields, a cricket field, and its own light rail station. According to the company, the expansive campus, which will be divided into “team neighborhoods”, will be focused on providing a “more open and less formal” working environment. Inside, the spaces will be filled with social hubs and light-filled offices, but the new layout will be primarily focused on providing plenty of outdoor and recreational space for the employees. Once complete, the campus will have 18 new buildings, offering workspace for the 47,000 employees that currently work on site, as well as extra room for an additional 8,000 people. The Redmond campus is already a Zero Waste Certified campus, but will be renovated with increased waste-reduction initiatives . Related: Microsoft unveils amazing treehouse office where employees can brainstorm in fresh air As part of the green transportation focus, all of the cars will be parked in an underground parking lot, so that above ground, the employees can travel by foot, bike or, eventually, by a light rail system scheduled for completion in 2023. As part of the green transportation focus, a new foot and bike bridge will be built over the WA-520 in order to connect both sides of its campus. This will connect with a planned Redmond Technology Transit Station where the Link Light Rail is expected to arrive in 2023. Microsoft president Brad Smith said the project will run approximately $150m, and expects the rebuild to create 2,500 construction and development jobs.”We are not only creating a world-class work environment to help retain and attract the best and brightest global talent, but also building a campus that our neighbors can enjoy, and that we can build in a fiscally smart way with low environmental impact,” explained Smith in the announcement. + Microsoft blog Via ZD Net Images via Microsoft

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Microsoft is razing its Redmond campus to build a sustainable mini city

Fast-growing wind power market waits out toxic proposal

November 22, 2017 by  
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Corporations have signed thousands of megawatts worth of contracts this year. But Microsoft and others are on hold amid threats to federal tax credits.

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Fast-growing wind power market waits out toxic proposal

Vertical farming climbs in Cleveland, Chicago, New York

November 22, 2017 by  
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LED-powered vertical farms will generate $6 billion by 2023 — and change the way Americans eat for the first time since WWII.

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Vertical farming climbs in Cleveland, Chicago, New York

Zaha Hadid Architects breaks ground on Mexicos City tallest residential tower

November 10, 2017 by  
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Construction has begun on the Bora Residential Tower, a high-rise designed by Zaha Hadid Architects that, when completed, will be the tallest residential tower in Mexico City . Located in the Santa Fe business district in the west of the capital, the luxury complex features Zaha Hadid’s recognizable tapered shape at its base, where the building curves inward before flaring out into “swirling” canopies. The site-specific building optimizes access to natural light and views, while mitigating seismic conditions. Commissioned in 2015 by Nemesis Capital , the Bora Residential Tower occupies prime real estate within walking distance to schools, theaters, cafes, restaurants, and the new Santa Fe Transit Hub that will connect to the city’s metro network next year. The 28-hectare La Mexicana park lies adjacent as well as three universities and the regional offices of Fortune 500 firms including the likes of Apple , Microsoft, and Amazon. Boasting over 50 floors, the record-breaking Bora will comprise over 220 apartments of one, two, and three bedrooms designed for diverse clientele from first-time homeowners and families to retirees. To maximize access to natural light and panoramic views, each apartment features private balconies that extrude vertically. The building’s base tapers inward and then flares out into canopies to shade street-level civic spaces with restaurants and shops. Related: Beautiful co-working space takes over a former industrial factory in Mexico City “The tower’s structure has also been designed for optimum flexibility and ductility, as well as an overall reduction in its weight, to best respond in seismic conditions, with the ten-storey canopies at its base providing additional lateral stability,” wrote Zaha Hadid Architects. + Zaha Hadid Architects Images via Zaha Hadid Architects and LabTop

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Zaha Hadid Architects breaks ground on Mexicos City tallest residential tower

Clean energy buyers team up to reshape policy landscape

September 14, 2017 by  
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Amazon, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, Salesforce and Walmart flex muscle in the new Advanced Energy Economy trade group.

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Clean energy buyers team up to reshape policy landscape

Microsoft on the value of power purchase agreements

July 19, 2017 by  
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The energy market has changed dramatically since Microsoft signed its first power purchase agreement (PPA) in 2012, according to Brian Janous, the tech company’s director of energy strategy. Back then, the idea of signing a 20-year PPA was novel, but now there is a massive uptick in companies participating in energy agreements. However, the risks of market fluctuation and falling prices are all material to designing electricity markets in the future. “More companies are signing a shorter PPA,” said Janous. “These things are not a free lunch.” 

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Microsoft on the value of power purchase agreements

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