Editor’s Note: This post is part of a monthly series from Microsoft’s Citizenship team that appears on the second Wednesday of every month. Pulse on Citizenship provides insight and commentary on topics and trends in corporate citizenship.

Posted by Lori Harnick
General Manager, Citizenship & Public Affairs, Microsoft

Today, we are releasing our annual Citizenship Report, which provides an overview of our citizenship work over the past fiscal year, from July 2011 to June 2012. This is the third year in a row that we have released the Citizenship Report at the same time as our annual financial report. Together, these two milestones give our shareholders, customers, employees and many community partners a full view of Microsoft’s financial and non-financial performance across all business operations.

The Citizenship Report, in particular, outlines Microsoft’s citizenship goals, progress and next steps in our responsible work practices and service to communities as part of our company commitment to making a real impact for a better tomorrow everywhere we do business.

The full Citizenship Report can be found on the Microsoft Corporate Citizenship website and we encourage you to view it and send us your feedback. Here are a few highlights from the report:

· We gave more than $900 million in cash and software to more than 62,200 nonprofits worldwide this fiscal year. Our employees contributed nearly $100 million of this total as part of the employee giving and company match program.

· We consulted with businesses, government and other key stakeholders to develop a human rights statement that brings together long-standing policies on privacy, security, free expression and labor rights. The statement aligns with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and establishes a common set of principles we infuse into our business practices.

· We made good progress in reducing our carbon footprint, exceeding our goal of cutting carbon emissions by 30 percent per unit of revenue compared with 2007 levels. This achievement was due in part to the 1.1 billion kilowatt hours of green power we purchased, the third most of any U.S. company.

· To help drive responsible business practices throughout our supply chain, we required 100 percent of our suppliers to abide by our revised Vendor Code of Conduct.

· To demonstrate the value we place on our employees, we made the company’s biggest investment ever in employee compensation.

In addition, this past fiscal year we made the decision to make youth the focal point of our philanthropy efforts and we announced this decision a few weeks ago with the launch of the global Microsoft YouthSpark initiative. As our CEO Steve Ballmer said, Microsoft YouthSpark represents “a big, bold bet” for Microsoft.

The Citizenship Report demonstrates how we have been laying the groundwork for this initiative over the past year through youth-focused programs and partnerships, such as connecting 600,000 students with one another through Skype in the Classroom and providing $1 million in Imagine Cup grants of cash, software and support to help student innovators launch their own businesses. Through Microsoft YouthSpark, we‘re embarking on an even more direct path to empower youth to imagine and realize their full potential.

We are continually evolving our Citizenship reporting, and want to make sure we provide the best possible resource for our many stakeholders around the world. We welcome any feedback you may have on this year’s report, so please e-mail comments and questions to mcitizen@microsoft.com.

Thank you!