Microsoft is almost doubling its commitments to reduce the company’s carbon footprint and bring sustainability at the core of every part of business and technology.
The tech giant has been investing since 2009 to reduce its carbon emissions, with an aim to cut its operational carbon emissions by 75% by 2030. However, the rapid changes in the environment suggest that Microsoft needs to invest more in order to reach its aim.
The company said that it will nearly double its internal carbon fee to $15 metric ton on all carbon emissions. This higher fee will help in maintaining carbon neutrality and put sustainability in business and technology to drive sustainable outcomes.
As part of this, Microsoft is taking steps in four areas. First, the company will build sustainable campuses and data centres. At its headquarters in Redmond, Microsoft is constructing 17 new buildings while removing fossil fuels from these buildings. Further, the entire campus will run on 100% carbon-free electricity.
Second, the company will include new datasets and open source APIs for environmental applications in its AI for Earth program. The aim is to use technology and capture a massive amount of data about the health of air, water, land, as well as the well-being of wildlife.
Third, the tech giant will work closely with existing and new customers to make use of artificial intelligence (AI) and digital technologies so that sustainability challenges can be addressed. As per a PwC report, use of AI can increase global GDP by 4.4%, while decreasing global greenhouse gas emissions by 4%.
Fourth, Microsoft is joining the Climate Leadership Council (CLC), an international policy institute, to advocate environmental policy changes and promote a national carbon pricing approach.
“The magnitude and speed of the world’s environmental changes have made it increasingly clear that we must do more, and today Microsoft is taking steps to do just that,” said Brad Smith, President and CLO at Microsoft.
“We’re taking action to put our own house in order, while increasingly addressing sustainability challenges around the globe by engaging our strongest assets as a company — our employees and our technologies.”