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How Microsoft Company is Saving the Planet

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In pursuit of making a stand against climate change, corporations such as Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Apple have made it their mission to heal the world. 

Talks on climate change have only been getting stronger as more consumers have become aware of its adverse effects. Since then, the topic has evolved from sheer press releases and into actual action plans taken seriously by C-level executives.

In this article, we’ll be exploring more about the commitments of Microsoft, one of the frontrunners in the subject. The tech giant pledged not only to decrease their emissions but to push further and go carbon negative. Microsoft has since been releasing a series of progress reports, detailing how they can eliminate all the carbon the company has discharged since its establishment in 1975. 

After days of speaking with professionals in corporate sustainability as well as past and present employees of Microsoft, we have found how sincerely the company is taking the issue and their global influence that could expand this effort beyond their own enterprise.

Microsoft is setting a benchmark through its consistency, transparency, and determination in pulling together other companies, either suppliers or industry competitors, into sharing data and other resources for the cause.

Kinds of Emissions 

A company’s carbon emissions are combined from three different sources: first is from the business operations side such as delivery vehicles, second is from factories or power plants, and the last type is from indirect emissions produced by equipment or services procured by the business, such as business travel. 

Microsoft’s largest source of emissions is the third factor. “At Microsoft, we expect to emit 16 million metric tons of carbon this year. Of this total, about 100,000 are Scope 1 emissions, and about 4 million are Scope 2 emissions. The remaining 12 million tons all fall into Scope 3. Given the wide range of Scope 3 activities, this higher percentage of the total is probably typical for most organizations,” said Microsoft president Brad Smith.

Microsoft’s Key Initiatives

Earlier this month, Microsoft chief environmental officer Lucas Joppa provided some updates on the concrete steps that the company is undertaking to achieve its negative carbon emission target.

First off, the tech giant will be joined by nine other major companies in an effort called “Transform to Net Zero”, which aims to “accelerate the transition to a net-zero global economy.”

It basically follows the same philosophies Microsoft has set but guided with a data and scientific-driven strategy. The companies uniting in this initiative are A.P. Moller-Maersk, Danone, Mercedes-Benz, AG, Natura & Co, Nike, Starbucks, Unilever, and Wipro.

Another strategy Microsoft took is the launch of a sustainability calculator that will help their cloud clients determine their carbon footprint and, in turn, make efforts to reduce it. The third is a commitment to cease the use of diesel fuel and generators by the end of the decade. Finally, they increased the company’s internal carbon tax to include its largest source of emissions (Scope 3).

Globally, Microsoft is being acclaimed for keeping true to their commitments in doing their part to create a more sustainable environment.

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BigBusiness

Aviation Aftermath Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

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The Covid-19 pandemic has changed a lot of what was considered ‘normal’ before. For example, gone are the days when you can have a fun night out with friends while drinking and partying. Another aspect that the pandemic changed is everyone’s ability to travel freely (as long as their passport, budget, and visas will allow).

With everyone expected to stay home, the airline industry strongly felt the pandemic’s effects as the majority of the flights got canceled due to travel restrictions in an attempt to contain the spread of the deadly virus. Because of this, the airline industry has been forced to lay off employees or, worst, declare bankruptcy. 

The Aftermath

Government regulations in countries such as the United States and Europe have reiterated that any canceled travel plans because of the Covid-19 pandemic should be refunded in whole to the ticket holders.

Despite this regulation, many airlines have failed to comply with as they have felt the financial brunt during the pandemic. Some airlines opted to provide travel vouchers (that can be claimed until 2022) instead. Still, government regulations were specific in their guideline to give back the refund.

Statistics show a decline of 10% in early March 2020 as the pandemic started to boom globally. By late March, statistics showed a 40% to 60% decline in the aviation industry, with more flights being canceled and fewer individuals attempting to travel, including the imposition of travel restrictions by multiple countries. By April 2020, there was an 80% decline, with flight movements restricted in all countries.

What’s Next?

Because of the aftermath of the pandemic to the aviation industry, many airlines are cutting off employees, including flight attendants. US airlines have cut down flight attendants ranging from 30% to 60% because of the low demand for flights.

Because of these, flight attendants all over the world became creative in ways to earn more money now that their current jobs are unstable because of the pandemic. For example, Susannah Carr, a flight attendant from United Airlines, mentioned she rejoined AppWag to walk dogs through making extra money now that there is a lull in her flights.

Making Ends Meet

In an interview, she mentioned that her previous paycheck was just enough to cover her monthly rent, a place she co-rents with a fellow flight attendant. Since Carr has previous experience in freelance jobs such as online translations and wedding event planner, she is now busy applying for other freelance types of jobs to make ends meet.

She acknowledges that while it is not the dream job, she hoped for right off college, the sense of urgency to make a living so she can survive the pandemic remains to be a top priority.

On the other hand, another flight attendant, Joan Marie Santos, turned to bake cupcakes and pastries during the flight lull. Her passion truly lies with baking, a hobby she only got to do in-between flights. But with the ongoing pandemic and approximately one flight per month (as opposed to her usual 15 flights per month), she started baking and selling her pastries to nearby communities to make ends meet.

With the uncertainty of the pandemic, people, not just flight attendants, have to be flexible and adaptable to the changing times. 

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Less Plastic, More Life: How This Youth Leader Is Ending Bali Plastic Bags

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Plastics, at one point in time, may have been a useful and normal part of everyday life. However, because plastics take forever to disintegrate, it has become a global ecological problem.

More often than not, these plastics end up polluting the environment and also end up killing animals who mistake them for food. Because of these environmental concerns, Melati Wijsen from Bali, Indonesia, decided to put a stop on single plastic use forever. And she’s just 18 years old.

The Genesis: Bye Bye Plastics!

Indonesia is the second world’s largest plastic producer next to China. Wijsen saw the ill-effects of single-plastic use in her hometown as plastics were everywhere! The side of the road, the rivers, and the canals – plastics were an eyesore to the popular tourist destination.

Still, the quality of environmental life in Indonesia was rapidly declining as plastic usage increased. Melati Wijsen, together with her sister, just came from a school video showing inspirational leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King when they were inspired to start doing something.

They then formed the non-profit organization called Bye Bye Plastics in 2014, where its primary objective is to ban the use of single-use plastics throughout the community. Their plan of action included encouraging their schoolmates to join their cause and often held meetings during lunchtime!

Within months, the Bye Bye Plastics team was able to mobilize communities to clean the polluted beaches with a whopping 50,000 people clearing more than 150 tons of plastics! Also, the team encouraged businesses to reduce their use of plastics.

By 2018, the team partnered with the Balinese government to ban the use of single-use plastics, which took effect in July 2019. At present, Bye Bye Plastic expanded globally, with 50 teams spread out in over 29 countries.

What’s Next?

Because of the success of Bye Bye Plastic in Indonesia, Wijsen became a prominent youth leader with a global audience. She has spoken to different youth leaders in various prominent platforms such as the United Nations conferences, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Economic Forum.

But she will not stop there. In an interview with Wijsen, she feels proud of her team’s accomplishment. Still, she feels frustrated that the world’s awakening about such a prominent environmental issue took six years in the making. She also vowed to assist with other youth-led initiatives.

Wijsen and her sister founded another non-profit organization, Youthtopia, where its primary objective is to have a support group among other budding youth leaders. It also aims to develop the skills of youth leaders through development activities, peer-learning activities, and online workshops.

To date, Youthtopia has catered to a multitude of youth leaders whose cause ranges from anti-human trafficking to Black Lives Matter foundation. In another interview, Wijsen mentioned that she has all the hope for the youth and their generation because of their passion for making an impact on the community.

When asked for advice to be given to youth leaders across the globe, Wijsen wisely mentioned three actionable steps to take to make an impact:

  • Empower Yourself
  • Collaborate with others
  • Reach out to leaders

Indeed, youth leaders such as Wijsen are inspiring figures not just for the youth but also for anyone—regardless of age, gender, and nationality, to do the right thing and make an impact on the community.

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The Plot Thickens: Farmer Gets Revenge on Tesco

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Revenge can be an extremely ugly emotion. While most of us choose to be the bigger person and walk towards the higher path to goodness, we are but human and can succumb to the darkest emotions we have, including revenge.

So is the story of a farmer who held a lifelong grudge against Tesco, a British multinational grocery and general merchandise retailer that holds several branches in the major European places such as Hertfordshire, Welwyn Garden City, United Kingdom, and even England!

A Sinister Plan

Nigel Wright, a humble farmer in Europe, was convicted for lacing baby food with sharp objects such as metal shards in Tesco branches, specifically Lockerbie and Rochdale. His motive? He allegedly is part of a group of farm protesters because of the low milk prices and demand equality and justice among farmers. 

According to reports, Wright laced baby food with metal shards and wrote to the Tesco administration through letters and emails demanding 1.4 pounds in bitcoin, else, “babies’ mouths will cut open pouring blood, or the babies’ insides will be bleeding” in a graphic explanation of his letter.

If Tesco pays him, he will remove the laced baby food. As a result, Tesco recalled more than 42,000 jars of baby food in the Tesco branches mentioned. Wright also threatened to lace milk with salmonella, white powder, and knives if Tesco does not adhere to his demands. In Telco stores’ security footage, Wright was seen placing tampered jars of baby food on shelves while shopping for more baby food, wine, and flowers for her wife.

Fear-Mongering

Meanwhile, shocked mothers and innocent babies are feeling the after-effects of Wright’s wrath. In Lockerbie, Morven Smith recounted that she was feeding her 10-month old baby with Heinz sweet and sour chicken when she noticed something shiny in the bowl. She was shocked to see it was a piece of the metal shard and feared not just for her baby’s welfare but other moms and babies in the area too.

In another part of town in Rochdale, Harpreet Kaur-Singh, discovered metal shards while she was feeding her nine-month-old daughter with Heinz Sunday chicken dinner and a jar of cheesy pasta stars. Both mothers remain shocked at how Wright pulled off his dark and sinister plan to harm innocent babies, all in the name for justice for higher milk prices. 

The case quickly became the largest blackmail investigation in the region. When authorities tracked down Wright, they found incriminating evidence of baby food photos in his laptop that exactly matched the ones that were tampered with.

Wright admitted to tampering the baby food at the Lockerbie branch but not the Rochdale branch. He also said that he only did this horrendous act because a group of travelers threatened to rape his wife. He even stated he would hang his children in the tree!

The Court’s Verdict

Court verdict showed that Wright acted on his own volition in an attempt to become richer through blackmail, without regard to the consequences to his industry and the welfare of his family. Bill Jephson, the assistant chief who led the case’s investigation, described it as the most serious and challenging product contamination case in the UK.

While there is no perfect justice system in any country, there are many ways for people’s voices to be heard that will not necessarily harm anyone in the process. Revenge may be sweet, but the consequences of one’s faulty action can come as a harsh reality, which Wright learned the hard way.

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