Microsoft wants to help your business improve its reporting, understanding, and help your business reduce its environmental impact.
In addition, the US multinational is urging businesses to register early for the Microsoft Sustainability Calculator. The Microsoft Sustainability Calculator, which is available in a private preview, will give cloud customers oversight of the total carbon emissions resulting from their cloud usage.
“It’s challenging to make and meet meaningful carbon reduction goals without the ability to measure carbon emissions,” Microsoft said.
“Using AI and advanced analytics, the Microsoft Sustainability Calculator provides actionable insights on how to reduce emissions, the ability to forecast emissions, and simplifies carbon reporting.”
According to the company, the calculator uses consistent and accurate carbon accounting to quantify the impact of Microsoft cloud services on a company’s environmental footprint.
It calculates how moving additional applications and services to the cloud would help further reduce emissions and identifies and compiles reports for reporting requirements.
Microsoft in January announced its plan to be carbon negative by 2030. The plan envisages Microsoft taking responsibility for its carbon footprint by being a voice for lowering emissions, being “grounded in science and math”, investing in carbon reduction and removal technology, and providing transparency.
In addition Microsoft, alongside AP Moeller, Danone, Maersk, Mercedes-Benz AG, Natura & Co, Nike, Starbucks, Unilever, Wipro, and founding NGO member the Environmental Defense Fund, has launched a new coalition, Transform to Net Zero, which is aiming to accelerate business action toward a net zero carbon economy.
“No one company can address the climate crisis alone. That’s why leading companies are developing and sharing best practices, research, and learnings to help everyone move forward. Whether a company is just getting started or is well on its path, Transform to Net Zero can help us all turn carbon commitments into real progress toward a net zero future,” said Microsoft President Brad Smith.
The members will work to enable all businesses to achieve net zero emissions by sharing the business transformation each company is undertaking to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. Delivering “robust” emission reductions across the business and value chains is also in the works. It will also work jointly with partners across supply chains whilst innovating and investing at scale in products, services, and business models that “amplify impact”.
Finally, they will also engage with policymakers to incentivise progress toward net zero.
“Importantly, the coalition will also focus on ensuring that the coming transition to a low-carbon economy is an equitable and just one,” the company added.
After announcing a US$1 billion Climate Innovation Fund, Microsoft has made its first investment, pledging US$50 million in Energy Impact Partners’ (EIP) global platform for innovation of new technologies to transform the world’s energy and transportation systems, which are two sectors Microsoft said account for the majority of greenhouse gas emissions.
Microsoft on Tuesday also announced a new partnership with renewable energy developer and investor Sol Systems, for 500 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy that includes investments in communities disproportionately affected by environmental challenges.
“This is the single largest renewable energy portfolio investment Microsoft has ever made, and is about a quarter of all of our previously procured renewable energy. Prior to this partnership, the total amount of renewable energy Microsoft has procured is approximately 1.9 gigawatts. To put it in context, 500 MW would power more than 70,000 homes in the US per year,” Microsoft wrote.
The work with Sol Systems is aiming to tie the purchasing of renewable energy to environmental justice and equity in under-resourced communities.
Microsoft said the partnership will develop a portfolio of 500MW of solar energy projects in the US in under-resourced communities, working with local leaders and prioritising minority and women-owned businesses.
They will also provide at least US$50 million for community-led grants and investments that support educational programs, job and career training, habitat restoration, and programs that support access to clean energy and energy efficiency.
This is in line with a focus on communities that are economically under-resourced, disproportionately impacted by pollution, and/or lack access to the benefits of the clean energy transition.
It ensures that community benefits are realised with accountability measures, including using third-party evaluators to quantify and document social and environmental outcomes of the initiative.
The global technology company announcements follow Apple on Tuesday announcing its own plan to become carbon neutral across its entire business by 2030. With this commitment, Apple said every device it sells will have “zero climate impact” in 10 years.
Last month, Amazon launched a US$2 billion fund to develop technologies to cut down greenhouse gases.
Salesforce is also committed to reaching 100% renewable energy by 2022 and delivering a carbon-neutral cloud to all customers.