Microsoft believes that it can do more for the environment than many of its peers who have pledged to go carbon neutral, which is why the firm has announced its ambition to be carbon negative by 2030. That beats Amazon’s pledge to be carbon neutral by 2040, and while Google says that it is already carbon neutral, the firm has been called out by its employees for its reliance on fossil fuels.
Despite the pledge to go carbon negative by 2030, Microsoft still doesn’t believe that goes far enough. In fact, CEO Satya Nadella, has said that he hopes Microsoft will remove all of the carbon it has emitted into the atmosphere since its founding in 1975 by 2050.
There’s no doubt that Microsoft is ambitious when it comes to fighting back against climate change, but the firm is determined to achieve its goal. It has already announced several plans as to how it will achieve its goal. This includes:
- Afforestation, the process of planting new forests where there previously wasn’t a forest. This allows trees to capture carbon dioxide and release oxygen into the atmosphere.
- Reforestation, where trees have been cut down, Microsoft wants to plant new ones to replace those forests.
- Soil carbon sequestration, this process involves removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it in a soil carbon pool.
- Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, the process of extracting bioenergy from biomass and capturing and storing the carbon, thus removing it from the atmosphere.
- Direct air capture, this involves capturing carbon dioxide directly from the ambient air and filtering the CO2 to remove it.
Microsoft understands the growing need for action to protect the planet that we live on, with the firm’s president, Brad Smith, noting “Already, the planet’s temperature has risen by 1 degree centigrade. If we don’t curb emissions, and temperatures continue to climb, science tells us that the results will be catastrophic.”
Despite its pledge, Microsoft understands that it can’t save the environment alone. It noted that those “who can afford to move faster and go further should do so,” throwing down a gauntlet to corporations all over the world. It understands that there is a large financial cost involved in carbon negativity, but also that the human cost is far greater if it doesn’t act.
On top of its plans to go carbon negative, Microsoft is making its technology available to its suppliers and customers around the world in the hopes that they can use it to reduce their own carbon footprint. The firm is also pledging a new $1 billion climate innovation fund to accelerate the global development of carbon reduction, capture, and removal technologies.
Additionally, beginning next year, Microsoft will also make carbon reduction an explicit aspect of its procurement processes for its supply chain. And so that people can keep up with the company’s progress, a new annual Environmental Sustainability Report will be released to detail its carbon impact and reduction journey.