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Microsoft, Nike, Unilever announce global carbon-neutral group

[SEATTLE] Microsoft, Nike, Starbucks, Unilever and Danone are teaming up in a new consortium devoted to sharing resources and tactics for slashing carbon emissions, bringing together the efforts of some of the biggest global companies that have pledged to take action against climate change.

The group, called Transform to Net Zero, also includes automaker Mercedes-Benz; Danish shipping giant AP Moller-Maersk; Indian information-tech firm Wipro; and Natura & Co, the Brazilian cosmetics firm that owns Avon. The alliance, which plans to recruit other members, will work with the nonprofit Environmental Defense Fund and will share information on cutting emissions, investing in carbon-reduction technology and coordinating on public policy goals.

Microsoft announced in January that it plans to be carbon negative — removing more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than it emits — by 2030, and the software maker allocated US$1 billion to a climate-innovation fund to invest in ways to reduce and remove carbon emissions, one of the most aggressive corporate plans. By 2050, the company plans to remove the equivalent of all of its emissions since Microsoft's founding in 1975. Amazon.com has also made a carbon-neutral pledge and recruited other companies to join. Both technology giants have come under fire from climate activists for continuing to provide cloud-computing services to large oil and gas producers.

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