The last week or so saw several notable stories related to Microsoft's involvement with green technology.
At the highest level, the company signed on as a partner with the United Nations Environment Program, pledging to assist with the creation of "applications with environmental sustainability management capabilities," according to this Softpedia piece, and to support making access to environmental planning information more readily available to both developing and developed countries.
In addition to continuing to develop new applications, governmental bodies are already using visual tools like Virtual Earth and Single View Platform and an emissions tracker called Project 2 degrees, reports OnWindows. Microsoft's Chief Environmental Strategist, Rob Bernard, observed that for significant environmental change to be made, more partnerships among corporations, governments and NGOs will be necessary.
The presentation of the IT Capability Maturity Framework (IT-CMF), with Microsoft as a member, was well-received as an IT best practices framework with a real-world bent. Along with consortium members like Intel, SAP, Chevron and British Petroleum, Microsoft threw its weight behind the framework's focus on business-minded decision making within IT that is designed to make IT run more efficiently and be a reliable money-saving center within the enterprise.
Closer to the ground, Microsoft rolled out a new module for Dynamic AX Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) that gives users a fuel cost and carbon emissions tracking dashboard. With emissions becoming a larger compliance issue in Europe and other parts of the world, the real-time information will prove a significant boon for Redmond's ERP customers, observes internetnews.com.
A couple of recognitions of Microsoft's progress in green IT were presented, as well. The Corporate Events team has achieved the first phase of a new British sustainability standard for the Convergence 2009 event, which will be held in New Orleans in March. The standard is being used as a benchmark for an internal set of company sustainability practices for events created last year, according to a company exec.
And The Uptime Institute included Microsoft in its 2009 Global Green 100 list for Corporate Leadership in IT Energy Efficiency. The corporations on the list have demonstrated, according to Uptime, exemplary governance and leadership at the board level for improving data center efficiencies. The 100 will be recognized at the Lean, Clean and Green IT Research Symposium in New York City in April.