Published: Fri, January 17, 2020
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Microsoft Plans to be Carbon Negative by 2030

Microsoft Plans to be Carbon Negative by 2030

"But to really shift the needle on climate change, we need 1,000 other Microsofts to follow-suit and turn rhetoric into action", the Environmental Defense Fund said in a statement.

Lastly, Microsoft addresses the criticism that while the company may be carbon negative, they facilitate the work of the fossil fuel industry and thereby indirectly worsen climate change.

Microsoft has pledged to remove "all of the carbon" from the environment that it has emitted since the company was founded in 1975.

Microsoft plans to achieve its goals by working with its partners, as well as carrying out its own initiatives.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates was an early backer of the British Columbia-based Carbon Engineering, one of a handful of companies developing direct air capture technology. Cloud computing, however, results in a massive carbon impact that Microsoft is committing to tackle-including through using its technology to help customers and suppliers reduce their carbon footprints, Smith said.

Microsoft says it's going to take its commitment to being carbon neutral one step further.

"A billion dollars is a lot and a little at the same time when you think about the investment level that's probably going to be needed", Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith said Monday in a meeting with editors in NY previewing the event.

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"While the world will need to reach net zero, those of us who can afford to move faster and go further should do so", Microsoft president Brad Smith said in a blog post announcing the plan.

Amazon Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos has pledged to make the e-commerce giant net carbon neutral by 2040 and has said it will buy 100,000 electric delivery vans from US start-up Rivian.

Joppa described the Microsoft Sustainability Calculator as a representation of the many Microsoft products that will focus on gaining carbon clarity.

"We are launching today an aggressive program to cut our carbon emissions by more than half by 2030, both for our direct emissions and for our entire supply and value chain".

Microsoft estimated that it'll be responsible for 16 million metric tons of carbon production for this year alone, Smith indicated. Scope 1 represents direct emissions, such as using a auto. The world confronts an urgent carbon problem. Greenpeace praised Microsoft for its pledge Thursday, but said the software maker needs to do more.

Microsoft also made a series of promises that include the company being entirely powered by renewable energy by 2025, including data centres, buildings and campuses. Scope 3 (the largest source of carbon emissions) represents indirect emissions from all other activities. Microsoft says it will set new procedures next year to push its suppliers to reduce their environmental footprint, in the same way it has required some of them to offer their workers paid time off and parental leave. The tech company had previously said its data centers would be 60 percent powered by renewable electricity by the end of past year, but environmental groups have said it has fallen short of such rivals as Google and Apple by relying too much on purchasing renewable energy credits to make up for its carbon emissions.

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