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With this announcement, Microsoft has set the standards by which others will follow. The company aims to become “carbon negative” by 2030, removing more carbon from the environment than it emits.
As part of the same announcement, Microsoft has stated that its data centers and other facilities will use 100% renewable energy by 2025. This is a hugely positive step in the move towards Zero-Carbon Digital Infrastructure.
This is a more aggressive goal than those taken by other tech firms including Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon. Although all these organisations and more are committing to becoming carbon neutral, Microsoft are the first to strive to become carbon negative.
The positive thing about this announcement is that they have a plan to make it happen. They are setting up a $1bn climate innovation fund to develop carbon-tackling technologies and will be investing in a number of ways to remove carbon from the atmosphere.
The Digital Infrastructure sector needs to follow this commitment and demonstrate how we as an industry will reach carbon neutrality and beyond. Microsoft as part of the announcement stated that they plan to halve emissions created directly by themselves and those involved in its supply chain by 2030. As one of the largest drivers of growth in digital infrastructure on the planet this undoubtedly is going to force the entire industry to follow suit.
The digital infrastructure industry has changed over the last 10 years as cloud service providers like Microsoft have become the dominant investors in capacity. As we move into this next decade we will need to evolve as an industry to be able to meet the demands of these customers while moving towards carbon neutrality and beyond.