Microsoft pledges to be carbon negative by 2030

By Heidi Nicholas,
Microsoft have pledged in their sustainability announcement to be carbon negative by 2030, and by 2050 to have removed all the carbon the company's emitted since it was founded in 1975, either by electrical consumption or directly. The announcements come from Microsoft President Brad Smith, Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood, and CEO Satya Nadella.


"The scientific consensus is clear", says Microsoft President Brad Smith. "The world confronts an urgent carbon problem. The carbon in our atmosphere has created a blanket of gas that traps heat and is changing the world’s climate. Already, the planet’s temperature has risen by 1 degree centigrade. If we don’t curb emissions, and temperatures continue to climb, science tells us that the results will be catastrophic." Microsoft are pledging to do their part with "an ambitious goal and a new plan to reduce and ultimately remove Microsoft’s carbon footprint." This is ambitious, especially seeing that Microsoft's report also says that they expect to emit 16 million metric tons of carbon in 2020 alone.

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 further details their ambition, saying, "We recognize that progress requires not just a bold goal but a detailed plan...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. We will fund this in part by expanding our internal carbon fee, in place since 2012 and increased last year, to start charging not only our direct emissions, but those from our supply and value chains."

Microsoft's sustainability announcement

Microsoft are also planning to use Microsoft's technology to help both their suppliers and customers to reduce their carbon footprints. They're also launching a $1 billion fund targeted at climate innovation, to "accelerate the global development of carbon reduction, capture, and removal technologies." They'll be publishing a new Environment Sustainability Report every year to detail their progress, and how they're doing with regards to their carbon impact. Microsoft has also come up with seven principles which they believe are integral to their process, which they've detailed in their announcement. These will be made up of: 1) "Grounding in science and math", 2) "Taking responsibility for our carbon footprint", 3) "Investing for new carbon reduction and removal technology", 4) "Empowering customers around the world", 5) "Ensuring effective transparency", 6) "Using our voice on carbon-related public policy issues", and 7) "Enlisting our employees".

Aaron Greenberg, Head of Xbox Marketing, has tweeted his support for Microsoft's announcement. "Proud to work for this company, important steps in the right direction", he said. Greenberg has also been in the news himself recently, as he was just honorary VP to SpecialEffect, a charity aimed towards helping those with disabilities to play games. The charity works to create, modifiy, or use existing technology to help disabled gamers play games, with the wider goal of improving confidence and rehabilitation. Amy Hood has also made a statement, saying she hopes Microsoft's efforts will set an example for other companies:


"It won’t be easy for Microsoft to become carbon negative by 2030", Smith finishes. "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."

(Thanks, x Mataeus x)
Heidi Nicholas
Written by Heidi Nicholas
Hey, I'm Heidi! I've just finished studying a Masters in English Literature, but I've been obsessed with gaming since long before then. I began on the PS2 with Spyro, before graduating to the Xbox 360 and disappearing into Skyrim. I'm now a loyal RPG fan, but I still like to explore other genres — when I'm not playing Assassin's Creed Odyssey, or being lured back into Red Dead Redemption 2 or The Witcher 3!