Sibos 2022: Microsoft discusses sustainable finance for a better future

Alice Chambers
Alice Chambers
By Alice Chambers on 12 October 2022
Sibos 2022: Microsoft discusses sustainable finance for a better future

Microsoft joined forces with climate positive customer experience provider Lune and Mastercard at Sibos 2022 to deliver a spotlight session about developing stronger environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategies for the future of the planet.

The session began with Bill Borden, corporate vice president of worldwide financial services at Microsoft, drawing from the different interpretations of sustainability across different sectors and reiterating the time-sensitive need to become more sustainable.

During the session, Borden explained that climate devastation costs around $280 million each year and is the direct physical result of carbon dioxide emissions, as he reflected on the recent impact of Hurricane Ian in Florida, USA. While Microsoft began considering its sustainable impact in 2009, it is now encouraging its partners and customers to follow its lead by implementing its technology to achieve their carbon net-zero goals. 

Borden also highlighted that most organisations are still using offline spreadsheets, which negatively impacts efficiency and costs, as well as the environment. Simple technology adaptations will save companies time and money, while generating a positive and sustainable global influence.

“Sustainability is a planet-scale problem that needs planet-scale innovation from planet-scale collaboration,” said Borden. “We’re on a common, connected journey... recording and reporting on ESG data will ultimately lead to sustainable transformation.”

In addition, Lune’s CEO and co-founder Erik Stadigh emphasised that sustainability is currently the biggest commercial opportunity for organisations. “74 per cent of small and medium enterprises want to be more sustainable but only 14 per cent are doing something about it,” he said. “Companies that choose not to act on such a large shift in the market will fail.”

The session was closed by Shamina Singh, president of Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, who considered the social aspect of ESG. She proposed that companies should use a similar scope framework to the greenhouse gas protocol, covering the direct social impact on internal policies, the leveraging of core competencies and philanthropic giving, and the following up of social investments. 

“You can’t succeed in business in a failing world,” said Singh. “If you want to go far, we have to all work together.”

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