By Anders Lorenzen
Microsoft, the tech giant, has finally responded to the climate crisis and announced one of the most ambitious corporate climate plans.
The move was announced by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, President Brad Smith, Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood, and Chief Environmental Officer Lucas Joppa.
The Microsoft plan goes further in tackling climate change than any other large corporation has, so far, been willing to go. The company says that by 2030, across their entire business which includes their supply chain, they will reduce their emissions by more than half.
In addition, they say they will remove more carbon than they emit annually, thereby not only becoming a carbon zero company but in fact a carbon negative company. In fact, the company goes as far as to promise that they will remove more carbon which has historically been emitted by the company since they were formed in 1975; this will be achieved by 2050. They will use a portfolio of negative emission technologies (NET) potentially including afforestation and reforestation, soil carbon sequestration, bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCs), and direct air capture (DAC).
The tech giant says they intend to launch a $1 billion climate innovation fund to accelerate the development of sustainable solutions such as carbon reduction and removal technologies. In July this year, the company will start to expand their current internal carbon fee to include indirect emissions. This fee will increase over time.
The company also states that they will support industry-wide standards of transparency with regard to carbon emissions and the reporting of such. Other large companies like the world’s largest investor Black Rock have come under scrutiny for not doing so. These standards will be applied to a new annual environmental sustainability report.
Part of their strategy is that this should extend beyond Microsoft themselves. They aim to develop and deploy technology which will help their suppliers and customers around the globe also to reduce their carbon footprint.
Internet-based and IT-related emissions are amongst the world’s fastest-growing emissions. Time will tell if this move by Microsoft move is just a PR stunt or if the company really means business.