Tech Giant Pledges to be Carbon-Negative by 2030

Citing the urgent climate problem facing the planet, Microsoft has outlined an ambitious plan, to go beyond carbon-neutral, pledging to become “carbon-negative” by 2030.

In a blog post yesterday, Microsoft President Brad Smith outlined his belief in corporate climate responsibility, writing:

“While the world will need to reach net zero, those of us who can afford to move faster and go further should do so. That’s why today we are announcing an ambitious goal and a new plan to reduce and ultimately remove Microsoft’s carbon footprint.”

Additionally, Mr. Smith commits to a bold target, stating that “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.”

Microsoft’s plan involves cutting the companies carbon emissions by half by 2030, as well as taking a technology-led approach to help the company’s suppliers and customers reduce their own carbon footprints. The company is also launching a $1 billion climate innovation fund to “accelerate the global development of carbon reduction, capture, and removal technologies,” and committing to make carbon reduction an explicit factor in supply chain procurement processes.

Source: Microsoft

Microsoft will publish its progress in a new annual Environmental Sustainability Report. Additionally, the company has pledged to be a vocal advocate for public policy that accelerates carbon reduction and removal.

Microsoft’s carbon-negative plan would put it at the forefront of the corporate climate fight, even relative to the other technology giants, who tend to be leaders in environmental responsibility. Google has already been carbon neutral for a decade, and matches 100% of electricity consumption for their operations with purchases of renewable energy. Apple has reduced its carbon footprint by 35% over the past 3 years, but still had an estimated carbon footprint of 25.3 million tonnes in 2018.

Microsoft’s self-described carbon “moonshot” throws down the gauntlet for its mega-cap peers to follow suit, and we expect it will ultimately pressure the larger corporate community to up their environmental game. As Mr. Smith writes, “it will need to become a moonshot for the world.”