Microsoft Puts Nature First in Its Ten-Year Plan!

Computing giant sets the bar higher.

Feb 5, 2020

(Julia Ardaran / Shutterstock.com)

Large corporations have joined the international movement to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change. Microsoft is the newest corporation to set an ambitious target, announcing in December 2020 that they will be carbon-negative by 2030.

Being carbon-negative means that the company will capture, store, and/or absorb more carbon dioxide emissions than it will release according to a company blog. Moreover, the giant US software company even plans to offset emissions that it has accrued over its 45-year history; this includes emissions from both direct energy use as well as emissions from the company’s supply and value chain.

The company is making this move because all the carbon released since the dawn of the industrial age has caused a blanket of gas that traps heat and produces global warming. The planets temperature, Microsoft's president, Brad Smith said, has already risen 1 degree centigrade and this must be curbed. That is why this bold action is necessary.

“The world’s climate experts agree that the world must take urgent action to bring down emissions…This will take aggressive approaches, new technology that doesn’t exist today, and innovative public policy. It is an ambitious – even audacious – goal, but science tells us that it’s a goal of fundamental importance to every person alive today and for every generation to follow,” said Smith.

“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 said that it plans to achieve its targets by reaching 100 percent renewable energy by 2025, moving to an electric fleet for its vehicles by 2030, and through pursuing ecological building techniques to gain LEED certification for its campus.

The company also plans to increase the use of an internal carbon tax on its business divisions, according to Reuters and includes investing $1 billion towards a Climate Innovation Fund, which hopes to speed up the development of carbon-capture technology, which has yet to be perfected.

While the US pulled out of the Paris agreement, many government officials recognize that companies will have to do more to control their own emissions.

“Addressing the challenge of our changing climate will require all of us to work together – federal, state, and local governments, the private sector, and individuals. The scope and scale of this proposal is exactly the kind of bold action we need from the business community,” Senator Mike Braun Senator Chris Coons of the Senate Climate Solutions Caucus said in a joint statement.

According to Forbes, this is one of the most ambitious corporate targets to date even surpassing Amazon's commitment to be 100 100 percent renewable energy by 2030, net-zero emissions by 2040, and a $100 million investment in reforestation projects.

Microsoft is taking a giant leap in the right direction. Corporations working along with governments and nonprofits will be the way to help mitigate climate change and change to a sustainable way of living and doing business.

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HILLA BENZAKEN, CONTRIBUTOR
Hilla Benzaken is a dedicated optimist. Her happy place involves cooking, acting, gardening, and fighting for social justice. She writes about all things sustainability, innovation, and DIY.