Microsoft is committed to reducing its carbon footprint by 2040 along with other major technology companies.
Microsoft, along with Amazon and 12 other large companies, is committed to achieving net carbon-free emissions by 2040.
The target brings companies into line with the United Nations Paris Agreement a decade ahead of schedule and will result in millions of tons of CO2 emissions reductions.
Microsoft signs The Climate Pledge, a global initiative by Amazon and Global Optimism, to meet the net-zero carbon footprint of the Paris Agreement 10 years early and commit to "weather the climate crisis".
Microsoft joins other signatories including Coca-Cola European Partners, Infosys, Mercedes Benz, Siemens, Uber and Verizon, as well as a few more unusual names like Spanish football club Real Betis.
Companies participating in The Climate Pledge undertake to:
Regularly measure and report on your greenhouse gas emissions
Continue the decarbonization efforts of their companies "in line with the Paris Agreement", changes to their business with efficiency improvements, use of renewable energies, reduction of the use of materials and other programs to reduce CO2 emissions;
"Neutral remaining emissions" with permanent and socially beneficial CO2 reduction programs to achieve the net zero CO2 emissions target by 2040.
The move comes after the January 2020 announcement that Microsoft will be carbon negative by 2030, an extremely ambitious goal for a global tech company.
While the world needs to be net zero, those of us who can afford to move faster and walk further should do so. That's why today we are announcing an ambitious goal and new plan to reduce, and ultimately eliminate, Microsoft's carbon footprint. By 2030, Microsoft will be carbon negative, and by 2050, Microsoft will be removing all carbon from the environment that the company has emitted, either directly or through electricity use since its inception in 1975.
While signing up for The Climate Pledge is an ambitious and laudable commitment, Microsoft had already taken the first steps towards that goal. The image below shows how Microsoft will achieve its ambitious goal for 2030.
Can tech companies go net zero?
The difficulty for large tech companies like Microsoft is that their connections with other carbon-producing industries are always scrutinized.
Critics quickly pointed out that while Microsoft is reducing its good footprint, it is providing tremendous infrastructure for the oil and gas industry, one of the world's largest polluters.
It is similar with Coca-Cola, which on the one hand signs up for initiatives to reduce CO2 emissions like The Climate Pledge and on the other hand is named one of the worst polluters in the world every year.
Additionally, Amazon's efforts are commendable, but the retail giant's footprint grew by around 15 percent, according to its self-published 2019 emissions report. Nor does Amazon report to the CDP, the former Carbon Disclosure Project, which monitors and evaluates global companies' efforts to reduce their footprint.
Carbon offset flights: how you can help save the world
Would you like to reduce CO2 emissions on your next flight? These websites help offset your flights carbon offsets.
About the author
(628 articles published)
Gavin is the junior editor for Windows and Technology Explained, contributing regularly to the Really Useful Podcast, and was the editor for MakeUseOf's crypto-focused sister site Blocks Decoded. He has a BA (Hons) in Contemporary Writing with Digital Art Practices Looted from the Devon Hills and over a decade of writing experience. He enjoys plenty of tea, board games, and soccer.
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