Microsoft cutting emissions by 75% by 2030

Tech companies have realized that small commitments and efforts to use more renewable energy and reduce their emissions just isn’t good enough anymore.

Microsoft has pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 75 percent by 2030.

Back in 2009, Microsoft made it’s first pledge to reduce emissions. At the time, the company aimed to “reduce its carbon emissions per unit of revenue by at least 30% compared with 2007 levels by 2012.” After accomplishing that, it then put an internal global carbon fee in place that allowed it to operate fully carbon neutral as of last year. The company has also committed to getting 50 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2018 and 60 percent in the next decade.

This latest pledge will have the company reducing their carbon emissions by 75 percent, using a 2013 baseline, by 2030. This commitment puts the company in line with the goals in the Paris climate agreement and will avoid more than 10 million metric tons of carbon emissions by 2030.

Through its previous efforts, the company has already cut its emissions from its 2013 level of 900,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year to only 230,000 tons this year, so it doesn’t have that much farther to go in order to reach its goal.

The company will have its work cut out for it though. Electricity demand is expected to grow as its cloud computing operations expand, so it will need to become even more aggressive about procuring renewable energy for its operations. In Greenpeace’s latest Guide to Greener Electronics, Microsoft scored an already grade of C- due to a need for greater renewable energy commitments and better product design for longevity and repairability.

Setting an ambitious target and getting organisational belief to back it up is key to achieving greatness! 


Mark van Engelen is founder Nya Sustainability Consulting, a consulting firm helping organizations implement sustainability. Services include sustainability strategy development, zero waste planning, GHG emissions calculating and planning, energy/water management, employee engagement and guidance in B Corp and carbon neutral certification.

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