Microsoft, trying to do its part to tackle what Chief Executive Satya Nadella called an “urgent climate crisis,” is going a step beyond carbon neutrality. The tech giant’s carbon dioxide emissions will actually become negative by 2030, Nadella said Thursday, a move that’ll undo by 2050 the greenhouse gas emissions it’s sent into the Earth’s atmosphere over the lifetime of the company.
“Today we are making the commitment that by 2030 Microsoft will become carbon negative,” Nadella said at a press conference. “By 2050, we will remove from the environment all the carbon we have emitted since our company’s founding in 1975.”
Microsoft went carbon neutral in 2012, but the company is trying to push farther now. That includes widening the scope of its carbon emission measurements to include not just its own direct emissions, but also the emissions created by the energy it uses and the emissions all its suppliers release. That amounts to 16 million metric tons today.
The company also is investing $1 billion in technology in a climate innovation fund designed to reduce carbon emissions, Nadella said.
Social pressure to lower greenhouse gas emissions is increasing on companies — though it’s not always accompanied by political pressure or regulatory requirements. Enormous, persistent forest fires in Australia have drawn new attention to the problems climate change is bringing. Scientists are growing increasingly vocal about what they’re terming a “climate emergency.”
“The scientific consensus is clear. The world is presented with an urgent climate crisis,” Nadella said. “If we don’t curb emissions, science tells us the results will be devastating.”