Microsoft is pledging to become 100% “carbon-negative” by 2030 by removing more carbon from the environment than it emits.
CEO Satya Nadella said on Thursday that the commitment will happen “not just across our direct emissions, but across our supply chain, too.”
It’s a major step up from Microsoft’s previous green pledges. The tech company had previously said its data centers would be 60% powered by renewable electricity by the end of last year, but environmental groups have said it has fallen short of such rivals like Google and Apple by relying too much on purchasing renewable energy credits to make up for its carbon emissions.
“Microsoft has really ben in the middle of the pack”, said
Elizabeth Jardim, senior corporate, campaigner for Greenpeace USA. “Not an ‘A’
student but clearly not doing nothing.”
Jardim said that Thursday’s announcement shows a “more serious and holistic” approach and that Microsoft “understands climate science and shrinking window for action.”
Microsoft had previously set an interim goal of 70% renewable energy by 2023. It now says it will hit 100% renewable for all of its data centers and buildings by 2025. Google and Apple have already said they reached the 100% milestone.
Microsoft’s announcement was timed ahead of next week’s gathering of elites at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos. Harmful trends like global warming and the extinction of animal species will be a focus of the conference.
Microsoft is responsible for about 16 million metric tons of emission per year, said Brad Smith, the company’s president and chief legal officer. That estimate includes not just Microsoft’s global network of energy-chugging data centers, but emissions from making electronic components for its devices and from everyone who plugs in its Xbox gaming consoles
Microsoft says that after reaching the 2030 goal, it will be 2050 to remove the environment from earlier damages Microsoft is also starting a $1 billion fund for developing carbon reduction and removal technology.