Technology Record - Issue 32: Spring 2024

21 The Cacao Conecta project, led by Microsoft, the US Agency for International Development, the Ideas for Peace Foundation and the National Chocolates Company, has helped Colombian cocoa producers increase productivity by an average of 15 per cent since 2021. Microsoft worked with local partner Anditel to install 26 connectivity points across rural Colombian regions. The project has also improved education opportunities in the region by providing children with access to virtual classrooms and online programmes. Microsoft is helping organisations progress their sustainability goals with the launch of its latest data and artificial intelligence solutions in Microsoft Fabric and Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability. At Microsoft’s ‘This is AI… for Sustainability’ digital event, Satish Thomas, corporate vice president of Microsoft Industry Clouds, explained how these new capabilities are “powerful solutions for all analytics needs”. The new sustainability capabilities in Microsoft Fabric, a software-as-a-service platform that consolidates enterprise data, aim to help organisations “accelerate their time to insights and sustainability progress by providing out-of-the-box ESG [environmental, social and governance] data model, connectors and reporting,” said Thomas. Microsoft also made Copilot and intelligent insights available in preview within Microsoft Sustainability Manager, a solution in Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability that enables organisations to efficiently record, report and reduce emissions and water or waste impact. Copilot uses generative AI and natural language queries to deliver fast insights from environmental data and draft sustainability reports, while the intelligent insights provide deeper analysis of calculated emissions data to show where more complete data is needed and identify short- and long-term reduction opportunities. The AI-powered tools in Microsoft Sustainability Manager also allow firms to conduct what-if analysis to compare different business scenarios and understand their sustainability impact. Thomas says these new solutions “will help move organisations from pledges to progress.” Microsoft reveals new sustainability solutions for ‘all analytics needs’ Productivity increases by 15 per cent for Colombian cocoa producers Photo: Cacao Conecta Cocoa producers Elio Antonio Anaya Causil and John Jairo Rivas Quiroz