Microsoft Unveils New Initiatives Against Climate Change

Published on June 19, 2019

Microsoft has long claimed to be an environmentally conscious company. In fact, it declared itself a carbon-neutral company as early as 2012.

This week, Microsoft announced four new initiatives that would help it become a more sustainable company. These initiatives range from more fundamental steps to the grand — something Microsoft President Brad Smith touched on at the last Web Summit in Lisbon.

Building sustainable campuses and data centers

To begin, Microsoft is looking to build 17 more buildings that won’t run on fossil fuels and will be instead run on 100% carbon-free electricity. Additionally, Microsoft hopes to decrease carbon levels associated with construction by some 15%.

Augmenting its efforts to build more sustainable campuses, Microsoft is looking to power its data centers with renewable energy as much as possible.

Taking a data-driven approach to research

In 2017, Microsoft launched AI for Earth, an initiative that allows people working on sustainability issues to gain deeper, more numerically-backed insights into how the environment is changing.

Microsoft is also hosting large governmental datasets on its cloud-computing platform, Azure. These datasets contain satellite imagery, among other insights, and with Microsofts APIs, can be analyzed.

Besides the government, Microsoft also seems to be working with the people. Having given out some 230 grants to people tackling climate change, Microsoft is inspiring everyone to go out and tackle these problems.

Helping its customers be more sustainable

Aside from becoming a more sustainable company itself, Microsoft is also helping its clients become more environmentally-friendly. For instance, it’s helping Ecolab improve its water conservation efforts with Azure, IoT, and AI.

On a smaller scale, it’s also working with startup Silvia Terra. With AI for Earth, Microsoft has been able to keep a “national inventory of forests.”

The scope of Azure’s applications seems endless.

Advocating for policy change

Microsoft has also joined the Climate Leadership Council, a policy institute composed of business leaders, economists, and environmental leaders. As leaders in the public and private sector continue to find ways to collaborate towards solving problems in sustainability.

Microsoft is joining companies like Apple, Tesla, and Nespresso in becoming more environmentally sustainable. But like any other initiative, it’ll be imperative to see if the results are what Microsoft expect.

Steven Li

Steven is the Founder and an Editor at The Rising and a Computer Science student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The post Microsoft Announces New Initiatives Against Climate Change appeared first on The Rising.

The Rising covers how the environment is changing and how that change impacts business, politics, and technology.

Read more

More GD News