Energy and Travel
We made a commitment to be a Carbon Neutral organisation in July 2012. Our goal is to be lean, green and accountable. We have introduced an internal carbon fee for all global carbon emissions.
As a sales and marketing organisation, 50% of our carbon footprint in the UK comes from travel and 50% from energy. We therefore spend most of our efforts in these two areas.
- Energy Savings: In the 2012 we reduced our energy consumption by 38% at our Thames Valley Park campus and won two awards at the UK Energy Awards 2012. At our Corporate Campus in Seattle, the real estate and IT teams have worked together to create an energy plan that is turning its 88 acres into an energy-efficient city without retrofitting buildings. This has the potential to cut the energy bill by 10% for a total cost equivalent to just 3% of the annual energy bill.
- Travel and commuting:
- Commuting: When travel to the office is required, we have an integrated travel plan to reduce single occupancy car journeys to our head office and also initiatives to use lower carbon transport. These are managed by our on-site travel co-ordinator who offers free travel planning in conjunction with Reading Borough Council
- Microsoft UK is the first Microsoft subsidiary in EMEA to add electric cars. We have also installed a charging point on the Reading Campus for employees and visitors. We have an upper threshold of 145g CO2/km for company cars
In addition to the above we also offer:
- A free shuttle bus from Reading and Winnersh Triangle (peak hours only) to Thames Valley Park
- A car sharing scheme with guaranteed ride home and preferential parking
- A bike week and free bike maintenance to encourage cyclists
- Discounted rail travel on First Great Western, South West Trains and Southern Trains
Since we launched, we've seen a 3.3% increase in people walking, 2.5% increase in cycling and a 10.3% increase in the use of public transport (excluding the TVP shuttle bus). We currently have 200 people using the car share scheme and over 600 Microsoft staff (43% of the overall Thames Valley Park population) using the easitTVP card to get discounts on First Great Western and South West Trains.
Our plans for this financial year include creating 'Green Travel Undercroft' at our Corporate Campus in Reading. We will provide electric charging points, car spaces for car sharers only, new changing rooms with better shower facilities, drying areas for clothes and more cycle racks.