Microsoft pledges to go carbon negative by 2030, eliminate past carbon footprint by 2050

Microsoft logo
Microsoft logo (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft announced an ambitious plan to combat its impact on climate change.
  • The company aims to go carbon negative by 2030 and further plans to eliminate its historical carbon footprint from the atmosphere by 2050.
  • Microsoft also announced a $1 billion "climate innovation fund" to support carbon reduction, capture, and removal globally.

Microsoft today unveiled a climate plan that sets its sights on going carbon negative by 2030. If it succeeds, this means the company will eliminate more carbon from the atmosphere than it produces. Going further, by 2050, the company hopes to have eliminated enough excess carbon to match all of its emissions since Microsoft was founded in 1975.

"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. "That's why today we are announcing an ambitious goal and a new plan to reduce and ultimately remove Microsoft's carbon footprint."

The plan involves cutting Microsoft's carbon emissions by more than half by 2030, Microsoft says. That includes both direct emissions and through Microsoft's entire supply chain. As just part of the plans, by 2025, Microsoft will shift to a 100 percent supply of renewable energy. By 2030, it plans to electrify its global campus operations vehicle fleet.

Microsoft also announced a $1 billion "climate innovation fund" through which it will invest in new technologies to help solve the problem carbon emmissions represent around the world. The company plans to invest portions of this fund in two main areas:

  • To accelerate ongoing technology development by investing in project and debt finance.
  • To invest in new innovations through equity and debt capital.

This new fund is in addition to Microsoft's AI for Earth initiative, which has already been in place for two years.

"Reducing carbon is where the world needs to go, and we recognize that it's what our customers and employees are asking us to pursue," Smith said. "This is a bold bet — a moonshot — for Microsoft. And it will need to become a moonshot for the world."

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

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