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Microsoft made a big push to improve its environmental reputation in recent days. On January 16, Microsoft president Brad Smith announced that it would make its data centers and operations carbon neutral by 2025 and carbon negative by 2030. The effort involves charging not only direct emissions but also those of the company’s “supply and value chain,” as part of the internal carbon fee imposed in 2012 and expanded in 2019. Like most “carbon neutral” organizations, Microsoft is buying renewable energy contracts, electric vehicles or purchasing offsets elsewhere.
Smith touted the role of Azure partnerships, such as tooling with Vatenfall to help customers meet green energy consumption goals with Azure IoT or smart building projects with Johnson Controls, L&T or ABB. “This is a bold bet — a moonshot — for Microsoft. And it will need to become a moonshot for the world. It won’t be easy for Microsoft to become carbon negative by 2030. But we believe it’s the right goal. And with the right commitment, it’s an achievable goal,” he stated.