Microsoft shares update on its work to go carbon negative by 2030

The company plans to acquire renewable energy to power its data centres by 2025, move away from diesel generators

Microsoft logo

Microsoft published an update on its goal to take the company carbon negative by 2030, including plans to get renewable energy purchasing agreements, introduce a Sustainability Calculator and partner with other businesses.

Back in January, Microsoft first announced its plan to go carbon negative by 2030, which means removing more carbon than it emits annually. On top of that, Microsoft plans to remove more carbon by 2050 than the company has emitted since it was founded in 1975.

In its progress update, Microsoft said that it’s on the way to obtaining renewable energy power purchase agreements for 100 percent of its day-to-day power requirements for data centres. Microsoft says it should hit that goal by the middle of the decade. Further, Microsoft says it wants to eliminate its dependency on diesel fuel by 2030.

To accomplish that, Microsoft needs to move away from diesel-powered backup generators for data centres. The company is looking at low-carbon fuel sources like hydrogen, as well as energy storage, to replace generators.

Microsoft also says that it’s taking steps to remove 1 million metric tons of carbon from the environment this year. To do so, the company will issue a request for proposal (RFP) — a document that solicits proposals from companies that bid on a project — to remove carbon. Microsoft plans to use a range of nature- and technology-based solutions. Further, these solutions must be net negative and scientifically verified.

Along with plans for itself, Microsoft wants to empower customers with a new Sustainability Calculator. The tool provides Microsoft’s cloud customers with information about carbon emissions caused by their cloud usage. Additionally, the calculator uses AI and analytics to offer actionable insights that can help customers reduce emissions.

Finally, Microsoft announced a new coalition of eight businesses called ‘Transform to Net Zero.’ The coalition hopes to accelerate business action toward a net-zero carbon economy. The founding coalition members include A.P. Moeller – Maersk, Danone, Mercedes-Benz AG, Microsoft, Natura & Co., Nike, Starbucks, Unilever and Wipro. The Environmental Defense Fund is the founding NGO member, and BSR will serve as secretariat.

Of course, moving to carbon negative is a significant undertaking and will take time. However, it’s great to see Microsoft and other companies already taking action on that front. However, Microsoft isn’t the only one. Apple also announced plans to take the company and its supply chain carbon neutral by 2030. Hopefully, as more companies move in this direction, others will follow.

Source: Microsoft