Brad SmithSource: Microsoft

What you need to know

  • Microsoft has been putting an increased focus on climate tech in recent years.
  • Microsoft President Brad Smith commented on how said technology isn't just a focus for his company, but also others, and will define the tech rockstars of 2050.
  • He compared the current climate technology ambitions to those of U.S. President John F. Kennedy's moon goals.

Microsoft is no stranger to eco-friendly and sustainability-focused initiatives. Take a look at the company's recent geoexchange field endeavors or its experiments with giving servers baths to reduce the resources needed for proper hardware cooling. And now, Microsoft President Brad Smith is commenting on where those ambitions are ultimately leading to.

"When I look at carbon removal, carbon capture and storage, sustainable aviation fuel, long-duration battery storage — the companies that unlock the secrets to those innovations, they will become unicorns if they don't exist today," he told CNBC. "They will be the household names in the year 2050."

He then compared the current race to adopt ecologically friendly technology as being akin to the 1960s push by JFK to get a man on the moon, in the sense that the technology for certain goals may not be there yet, but the means to make the technology is.

To see more of what Microsoft is doing in the sustainability space, look no further than its Cloud for Sustainability. It's a cloud package that enables companies to keep an eye on carbon emissions and track their progress (or lack thereof) toward sustainability goals.

However, Redmond is not without flaws. For an example of that, its position on the right-to-repair movement has been seen as counterproductive to sustainability goals by many parties.