Providing environmentally sustainable solutions powered by Microsoft's technology is a key goal for the company. To that end, it also teamed up with a number of organizations including Accenture, GitHub, Goldman Sachs, and ThoughtWorks to form the Green Software Foundation a couple of months ago. At its ongoing Inspire 2021 conference today, the Redmond tech giant has announced the Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability Initiative.
The Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability offer is currently in preview and is designed to allow organizations to track their carbon emissions and take action accordingly to manage it. The process revolves around measurement of carbon footprint, reporting to managerial stakeholders, reducing the utilization of problematic resources, and then achieving net zero through recycling and carbon offsets.
Microsoft says that in order to do this in a scalable manner, organizations need to ditch traditional software such as spreadsheets, and need to measure their impact in real-time using data connectors on the cloud. This is where Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability will facilitate them. The initiative features software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings such as Dataverse and Power BI for the entire process described above, starting from data connectivity and finishing at actionable and intelligent insights.
That said, Microsoft has highlighted that the enablement of truly environmentally sustainable ecosystem requires cooperation between a lot of sectors:
While much has been done in the first half of this year, it’s clear that there is still much more work to do, and we’ll continue to be transparent about our progress and learnings. After all, it’s not enough for Microsoft to meet its commitments — we need other organizations and governments working together to achieve a net zero carbon economy by 2050. We look forward to continuing these important conversations.
The company's ideal and long-term goal is to build a "decarbonized grid" where energy for resources is readily generated and available without carbon emissions. To that end, Microsoft is leading the race in terms of being a buyer of renewable energy, authoring whitepapers on energy monitoring, and working with energy suppliers all over the globe. An example of this is its multi-year $1 billion Climate Innovation Fund to empower innovative sustainable solutions. The company is also a principal partner for the upcoming COP26 event in the UK.