Plans include getting sustainability certificates for campuses. © Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images
Plans include getting sustainability certificates for campuses. © Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Microsoft to use procurement to cut emissions

17 January 2020

Microsoft plans to include carbon reduction in its procurement processes in 2021 as part of an “aggressive” sustainability programme.

The firm aims to be carbon negative by 2030 and next year it “will also make carbon reduction an explicit aspect of the procurement processes for the supply chain”.

Microsoft said: “By July of 2021, we will begin to implement new procurement processes and tools to enable and incentivise our suppliers to reduce their scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions.”  

The tech giant will “work with suppliers to implement consistent and accurate reporting and pursue effective steps to make progress against scientifically based targets”.

This is part of a programme to cut its carbon footprint with changes aimed at reducing emissions by over 50% and the removal of more carbon than it produces by 2030.

The firm said by 2050 it will remove from the environment the carbon it has emitted, either directly or by electrical consumption, since it was founded in 1975. 

The plan includes a new $1bn climate innovation fund to help achieve the goals by developing negative emission technologies, including afforestation and reforestation, soil carbon sequestration, bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, and direct air capture, said Microsoft.

The plan starts with switching to 100% renewable energy through power purchase agreements for all its data centres, buildings, and campuses by 2025, using electric vehicles for the global fleet by 2030, and getting sustainability certificates for the Silicon Valley Campus and Puget Sound Campus Modernization projects.

Microsoft said to achieve its goal it will need to learn and adapt, collaborate with others around the world, and invent technologies to solve current problems.

Meanwhile, Danish turbine manufacturer Vestas has pledged to go carbon neutral by 2030 through transitioning to a green powered fleet, reducing CO2 emissions from its supply chain by 45% per megawatt-hour, and creating sustainability partnerships with suppliers.

Lisa Malmquist Ekstrand, head of sustainability at Vestas, said: “Becoming carbon-neutral in our own operations and reducing CO2 emissions in our supply chain is the next phase of our journey to ensure a more sustainable planet for future generations – which is our purpose as a company and as individuals.”

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