Microsoft forms coalition to spur movement to net zero carbon economy

Microsoft logo at Ignite
Microsoft logo at Ignite (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • At Microsoft Inspire, Microsoft detailed new steps to hit its goal of going carbon negative by 2030.
  • The company is forming a new coalition, setting a supplier code of conduct, and making its datacenters diesel-free by 2030.
  • Microsoft's cloud customers will also get access to a new "Sustainability Calculator" to identify the emissions from their cloud usage.

At its Inspire partner conference today, Microsoft announced several new initiatives to drive towards its goal of being carbon negative by 2030. Included are a new coalition, guidance for supply chain partners, and a new tool for its cloud customers.

First up is the "Transform to Net Zero" coalition. Microsoft says the goal of this coalition will be for members to share business transformations they've made to reduce their carbon impact. Further, the coalition is tasked with helping to "drive carbon reductions across their collective supply chains." Microsoft says the group will grow over time, with an emphasis placed on investing in carbon-reduction technologies at scale and working to "address key carbon-related public policy goals."

Beyond the coalition, Microsoft also announced the "Microsoft Sustainability Calculator." Built for its cloud customers, the calculator is intended to give them "full transparency" into the carbon emissions caused by their cloud usage.

There's also a new supplier code of conduct for sustainability requirements. Microsoft is giving suppliers steps to reduce their carbon emissions, requiring that they report their scope 1, 2, and 3 greenhouse gas emissions data. Microsoft also requires that suppliers "reduce their emissions in alignment with Microsoft's own goals."

Finally, Microsoft says that its datacenters will be diesel-free by 2030. Diesel generators are used at Microsoft's datacenters for backup power.

In January, Microsoft set an ambitious goal of going carbon negative by 2030. Further, the company plans to have eliminated enough excess carbon to match all of its emissions since its founding in 1975. As part of this plan, Microsoft says it will move to a 100 percent supply of renewable energy.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • What about their customers? Azure powers one of the biggest mining firms in Canada. They likely produce more carbon in a day then Microsoft has ever produced, but Microsoft still cashes the check. Look, Microsoft can do whatever. Having everything on renewables or diesel is immaterial as long as they meet their server SLAs. But don't act like you are doing this great thing for the environment when you support companies that literally negate all that you do. Otherwise, it's just posturing about a subject that has routinely come in dead last in polls for what normal people care about.
  • "We cured cancer." But what about heart disease? Don't act like you care about people's health when you did nothing about heart disease!
  • It’s not a high priority for me either. I care far more about quality and price. However, if MS has a goal of going carbon neutral or negative, good for them. They should not be held responsible for the actions of their customers, who choose to buy from MS, just their suppliers, whom MS does choose.
  • Let's start with first steps, which is Microsoft themselves changing themselves, then they can move onto other orgs if they wish to. I'd be all for it, but you can't solve everything at once.
  • I wish they would focus their efforts on becoming "UWP Negative" instead, LOL. UWP is such garbage. They effectively have no actively supported framework for developing first class complex desktop applications. Microsoft is a total failure with their own mobile OS, but they have effectively crippled their only "modern" fully supported API (UWP) so that apps developed with it can run great on phones... News flash - you phones failed! Developers by and large hate / ignore UWP (I'm a Windows developer). WPF is a full fledged framework for writing complex desktop applications, but Microsoft has effectively abandoned it 8 years ago, with no major improvements. It's as if Apple decided they didn't need to improve anything in iOS for the last 8 years - no, we're good.
  • Off topic much?
  • I love how the comments went straight to irrelevant complaints. "And another thing! Where's the radial menu in OneNote??!"
  • People do love to complain.