IT Brief New Zealand logo
Technology news for New Zealand's largest enterprises
Story image

Microsoft’s ‘moonshot’ goals to be carbon negative by 2030

By Sara Barker
Tue 21 Jan 2020
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Microsoft’s president Brad Smith has made a bold ‘moonshot’ announcement that the company will become completely carbon negative by 2030.

Not only is Microsoft striving to eliminate its future carbon footprint, but the company also aims to remove all carbon it has directly or indirectly emitted into the environment by 2050.

In a company blog post, Smith declares that the world is facing an urgent carbon problem that will result in catastrophe for the earth if people don’t work together to curb emissions.
He explains that climate experts agree there must be urgent action to bring down emissions, essentially reaching ‘net zero’. Net zero is the term for removing as much carbon as it creates every year.

He says this is why Microsoft has made an ambitious goal to reduce and remove its carbon footprint.

“By 2030 Microsoft will be carbon negative, and by 2050 Microsoft will remove from the environment all the carbon the company has emitted either directly or by electrical consumption since it was founded in 1975,” he states.

But bold goals require bold and detailed plans. Smith explains that Microsoft will fund its goals in part by expanding its internal carbon fee to start charging for emissions across supply and value chains, as well as direct emissions from Microsoft.

Microsoft is ensuring that its supply and value partners adjust to the changes through the launch of a new initiative to help them use Microsoft technologies in order to reduce their own carbon footprints.

Microsoft is also creating a US$1 billion climate innovation fund to work on carbon reduction, capture, and removal technologies.  Furthermore in 2021, Microsoft will incorporate carbon reduction a core part of its procurement processes for its supply chain.

Smith outlines seven principles that guide Microsoft efforts in tackling societal issues. Grounding in science and math; Taking responsibility for our carbon footprint; investing for new carbon reduction and removal technology; empowering customers around the world; ensuring effective transparency; using Microsoft’s voice on carbon-related public policy issues; and enlisting employees.

Microsoft further details how it will reduce emissions, based on the science-based definitions of scopes. Scope 1 emissions are direct emissions, scope 2 emissions are indirect emissions from production of energy, and scope 3 emissions are indirect emissions from other sources.

Smith explains that Microsoft will reduce scope 1 and 2 emissions to ‘near zero’ by the middle of the decade by:

  • Shifting to 100% supply of renewable energy by 2025, meaning that Microsoft will have power purchase agreements for green energy contracted for 100% of carbon emitting electricity consumed by Microsoft data centers, buildings, and campuses.
  • Microsoft will electrify its global campus operations vehicle fleet by 2030.
  • Microsoft will pursue International Living Future Institute Zero Carbon certification and LEED Platinum certification for its Silicon Valley Campus and Puget Sound Campus Modernisation projects.

Microsoft will reduce scope 3 emissions by more than half by 2030 through new steps, including the following:

In July 2020 Microsoft will start phasing in our current internal carbon tax to cover our scope 3 emissions. Currently this fee is $15/metric ton and covers all scope 1 and 2 emissions, plus scope 3 travel emissions. Unlike some other companies, our internal carbon tax isn’t a “shadow fee” that is calculated but not charged. 

"Microsoft’s fee is paid by each division in our business based on its carbon emissions, and the funds are used to pay for sustainability improvements," says Smith.

By 2030 Microsoft will remove more carbon than it emits, setting us on a path to remove by 2050 all the carbon the company has emitted either directly or by electrical consumption since it was founded in 1975. It will achieve this through 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).

Microsoft will also invest in new carbon reduction and removal technology to support its goal.

"It won’t be easy for Microsoft to become carbon negative by 2030,” says Smith, “But we believe it’s the right goal. And with the right commitment, it’s an achievable goal. We will need to continue to learn and adapt, both separately and even more importantly in close collaboration with others around the world.”

“We believe we launch this new initiative today with a well-developed plan and a clear line of sight, but we have problems to solve and technologies that need to be invented. It’s time to get to work.”

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Cybersecurity
Hard numbers: Why ambiguity in cybersecurity no longer adds up
As cybersecurity costs and risks continue to escalate, CEOs continue to struggle with what their investment in cyber protection buys. Getting rid of ambiguity becomes necessary.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Managed service providers: effective scoping to avoid costly vendor pitfalls
Managed security services are outsourced services focusing on the security and resilience of business networks.
Story image
Remote Working
How zero trust and SD-WANs can support productive remote working
The way people connect with applications and data has changed, users are remotely accessing resources that could be stored anywhere from a corporate data center to the cloud.
Story image
Cybersecurity
The 'A-B-C' of effective application security
Software applications have been a key tool for businesses for decades, but the way they are designed and operated has changed during the past few years.
Story image
PaaS
New digital traffic light system to tackle construction defects
Smarter Defects Management launches its PaaS digital system and says it will revolutionise managing defects in the construction industry.
Story image
Remote Working
IT teams deploy powerful technologies to enable remote work
"We found that IT teams mastered the challenges of remote work last year in large part by employing powerful yet easy-to-use technologies."
Story image
SAS
New SAS service overcomes subscription fatigue for media companies
SAS has launched SAS 360 Match which helps media companies move towards a AVOD model to generate revenue as subscribers cancel.
Story image
Kodari Securities (KOSEC)
NFT trends and opportunities: expert reveals all
The NFT market is growing at an exponential rate, with unprecedented liquidity. Here we explore how businesses can profit.
Story image
Oracle
Prophecy International migrates VMware environment with Oracle Cloud Solution
The Adelaide-based global provider is using the solution to eliminate the need to re-write applications, therefore allowing the company to enhance its business operations.
Story image
Power / Energy
Keysight Technologies introduces new next-gen DPT solution
Keysight Technologies has announced its new next-generation Double-Pulse Tester (DPT) with the PD1550A Advanced Dynamic Power Device Analyser.
Story image
Remote Working
How organisations can meet employees' changing expectations
The global employment market has shifted dramatically in favour of employees, sparking the so-called great resignation, in which people are leaving unsatisfying roles in search of greener pastures.
Story image
Ransomware
Cybersecurity starts with education
In 2021, 80% of Australian organisations responding to the Sophos State of Ransomware study reported being hit by ransomware. 
Story image
Digital Transformation
Physical security systems guide the hybrid workplace to new heights
Organisations are reviewing how data gathered from their physical security systems can optimise, protect and enhance their business operations in unique ways.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
SAS unveils AI experience to improve kids' batting abilities
SAS has created The Batting Lab, an interactive experience using AI, computer vision and IoT analytics to help kids improve their baseball and softball swings.
Exabeam
Find out how a behavioural analytics-driven approach can transform security operations with the new Exabeam commissioned Forrester study.
Link image
Story image
Data Center
Preventing downtime costs and damage with Distributed Infrastructure Management
Distributed Infrastructure Management (DIM) can often be a lifeline for many enterprises that work with highly critical ICT infrastructure and power sources.
Story image
Sustainability
Power at the edge: the role of data centers in sustainability
The Singaporean moratorium on new data center projects was recently lifted, with one of the conditions being an increased focus on power efficiency and sustainability.
Story image
Application Security
What are the DDoS attack trend predictions for 2022?
Mitigation and recovery are vital to ensuring brand reputation remains solid in the face of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack and that business growth and innovation can continue.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from IronNet
Michael Ehrlich joins us today to discuss the history of IronNet and the crucial role the company plays in the cyber defence space.
Story image
Hawaiki Cable
BW Digital completes acquisition of Hawaiki Submarine Cable
BW Digital has completed its full acquisition of Hawaiki Submarine Cable, with all applicable regulatory filings and approvals now received.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Why enterprise records management should be part of any digital transformation strategy
Modern organisations create and rely upon an enormous volume of content, and digital records make up a significant proportion of that content.
Story image
SaaS
Absolute Software expands Secure Access product offering
Absolute Software is enhancing its Secure Access product portfolio, enabling minimised risk exposure and optimised user experiences in the hybrid working environment.
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Datacom, Micro Focus, SnapLogic and VMware
We round up all job appointments from May 6-12, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
SAS launches human-focused responsible innovation initiative
SAS has launched a responsible innovation initiative, furthering its commitment to equity and putting people first.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Clear Dynamics closes $35M funding round, invests in global growth
The funding is a major milestone and speaks to Clear Dynamics’ vision for AI-enabled ‘composable’ enterprise software, the company states.
Story image
Sustainability
Grasping the opportunity to rethink the metrics of a sustainable data centre
A data centre traditionally has two distinct operations teams: the Facility Operations team, and the IT Operations team. Collaboration between them is the key to defining, measuring, and delivering long-term efficiency and sustainability improvements.
Story image
Talend
Talend introduces new data health solutions for businesses
Talend has announced its latest version of Talend Data Fabric, with the release of Talend Trust Score enabling data teams to establish a foundation for data health.
Story image
IT budget
$20m boost for digital technologies announced
The government is spending an extra $20m over four years on its plan to transform the digital technologies industry.
Story image
Phishing
Google reveals new safety and security measures for users
Google's new measures include automatic two step verification, virtual cards and making it easier to remove contact information on Google Search results.
Story image
Microsoft
Microsoft backing Māori and Pacific wāhine in tech industry
A new initiative focused on getting Māori and Pacific wāhine into the tech industry and backed by Microsoft, NZTech and the government is calling for tech companies to get involved.
Softiron
For every 10PB of storage run on HyperDrive vs. comparable alternatives, an estimated 6,656 tonnes of CO₂ are saved by reduced energy consumption alone over its lifespan. That’s the equivalent of taking nearly 1,500 cars off the road for a year.
Link image
Story image
Sift
Sift shares crucial advice for preventing serious ATO breaches
Are you or your business struggling with Account Takeover Fraud (ATO)? One of the latest ebooks from Sift can provide readers with the tools and expertise to help launch them into the new era of account security.
Story image
Ivanti
Ivanti and Lookout bring zero trust security to hybrid work
Ivanti and Lookout have joined forces to help organisations accelerate cloud adoption and mature their zero trust security posture in the everywhere workplace.
Story image
Excel
Could your Excel practices be harming your business?
While Excel has been the de-facto standard for budgeting, planning, and forecasting, is it alone, enough to support organisations in the global marketplace that’s facing rapid changes due to digital transformation?
Story image
Cybersecurity
A10 Networks finds over 15 million DDoS weapons in 2021
A10 Networks notes that in the 2H 2021 reporting period, its security research team tracked more than 15.4 million Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) weapons.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
ANU and Seeing Machines to use AI to improve driver safety
The Australian National University and Seeing Machines have won a grant to develop AI systems monitor human behaviour while driving.
Story image
Fortinet
Fortinet's Security Fabric hits new record for integrations
The Fortinet Security Fabric has surpassed 500 technology integrations with more than 300 Fabric-Ready Technology Alliance Partners.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Updates from Google Workspace set to ease hybrid working troubles
Google Workspace has announced a variety of new features which will utilise Google AI capabilities to help make hybrid working situations more efficient and effective.
Story image
Sustainability
Siemens showcases new automated solutions for data centers
Siemens has implemented new automated solutions and AI in the Baltic region's largest data center, providing insight into the future of data center management.
Darktrace
Threat actors are exploiting weaknesses in interconnected IT/OT ecosystems. Darktrace illuminates your entire business and takes targeted action to stop emerging attacks.
Link image
Story image
Microsoft
SAS Viya on Microsoft Azure to deliver 204% return - study
The Forrester Total Economic Impact study finds SAS Viya on Microsoft Azure brings a 204% return on investment over three years.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Unlocking the next digital frontier for educational institutions
Understanding where to invest in technology can be challenging for education institutions, especially after the COVID-19 disruptions.
Story image
Commerce Commission
ComCom welcomes new marketing codes for the telecom industry
The Commerce Commission is welcoming the creation of new marketing codes for the telecommunications industry.
Booster
Booster Innovation Fund. A fund of Kiwi ingenuity – for Kiwi investors.
Link image