Microsoft has detailed its progress towards its target to be a carbon negative, water positive, zero-waste company by 2030, with a 0.5 per cent decline in emissions achieved in 2022 as the business grew by 18 per cent.
The 2022 Environmental Sustainability Report details how Microsoft is using a broad range of initiatives, technologies and approaches to support a net-zero future. It highlights how Microsoft has helped to provide more than 15.6 million cubed meters of drinking water and sanitation solutions as part of water replenishment projects in Brazil, India, Indonesia and Mexico; diverted more than 12,000 metric tons of solid waste from landfills and incinerators; and protected more than 12,000 acres of land.
The sustainability report also detailed how Microsoft encouraged customer sustainability in 2022, such as through its launch of Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability. “As a technology company, we have a role to play with the thousands of corporate customers who put their trust in Microsoft technology,” said Microsoft’s chief sustainability officer Melanie Nakagawa and vice chair and president Brad Smith in a recent blog. “The majority of our customers have already made a climate pledge and Microsoft is working to help them move from pledges to progress.”
Microsoft will continue to advance artificial intelligence solutions and tools that advance emission measurement and compliance.
“We believe that Microsoft has an important role to play in developing and advancing new climate solutions, but also recognise that the climate crisis can’t be solved by any single company, organization, or government,” said Nakagawa and Smith. “The global community needs partnerships, new innovations, policies, and global commitment to ensure a healthy future for all.”
Meanwhile, Microsoft has committed to purchase electricity from the world’s first commercial fusion power plant, owned and operated by Helion Energy. The plant is expected to be operational by 2028 and the company aims to produce power of 50 megawatts or more after a one-year start-up period.
David Kirtley, co-founder and CEO of Helion Energy, said: “We are extremely proud to have Microsoft as our first customer! With this partnership, not only are we advancing the timeline to have commercial fusion energy on the grid, but we are also supporting Microsoft’s goal to be carbon negative by 2030. With a long history of unveiling groundbreaking technology while considering their impacts on the climate, Microsoft is the ideal customer for electricity from our first fusion power plant.”