This week, the tech company Microsoft announced they are now working to be carbon-negative by 2030. Furthermore, they plan to remove all the carbon they have ever emitted into the environment—either directly or by electrical consumption since their founding in 1975—before 2050.
The technology required to achieve such a feat is either wildly expensive or not widely available; and that’s why the company is also launching a $1 billion fund to develop climate technologies for the rest of the world.
“We are launching an initiative to use Microsoft technology to help our suppliers and customers around the world reduce their own carbon footprints and a new $1 billion climate innovation fund to accelerate the global development of carbon reduction, capture, and removal technologies,” Microsoft President Brad Smith wrote in a company blog post.
“Beginning next year, we will also make carbon reduction an explicit aspect of our procurement processes for our supply chain. Our progress on all of these fronts will be published in a new annual Environmental Sustainability Report that will detail our carbon impact and reduction journey. And lastly, all this work will be supported by our voice and advocacy supporting public policy that will accelerate carbon reduction and removal opportunities.”
Microsoft has been carbon-neutral since 2012—meaning they have invested in enough renewable energy projects and carbon offsets to balance out the emissions that they create themselves. They also began charging internal fees on their business units for their greenhouse gas emissions.
Smith says the company will now begin their trailblazing sustainability plan by sourcing all of their own electricity from renewables by 2025. After that, they plan to become carbon-negative by removing more carbon from the atmosphere than their own company creates.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, President Brad Smith, Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood, and Chief Environmental Officer Lucas Joppa announced the company’s new goals and their detailed plans for becoming carbon negative at an event at its Redmond campus.
“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,” said Smith. “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.”