The global technology company announced its latest actions to embed sustainability across all that the company does at the UN Headquarters as part of the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit

Original article published on Microsoft's blog.

Sep 22, 2019 - The dialogue at this year’s United Nation’s Climate Summit has a refreshing air of sober reality. The urgency of the climate crisis has by now fully been absorbed, and the conversation has turned to the practical matter of what needs to be done to mitigate the worst impacts of a rapidly changing climate and adapt to that which we cannot avoid.

This means that the time of raised ambitions and grand announcements without clear action plans is also past. That is why we are focusing this week on new and specific contributions both inside and outside our four walls that have the potential to meaningfully impact environmental outcomes. We have been doing this work for more than a decade and, in April of this year, we doubled down on our ambitions with a clear focus on doing more where it makes the most difference — beyond operational changes and increasingly on how we put technology to work for the planet. With that in mind, I’m sharing several concrete developments and markers of progress, including:

It’s important to note that while we’ve made progress on several fronts, there is still much work to do within Microsoft to embed sustainability more deeply across the company and into all that we do. We are committed to doing this work and being transparent about our journey. And we’ll continue to work with external organizations like the Science Based Target Initiative and CDP, which have done so much to drive concrete, measurable change to hold us accountable and aligned to the best science.

This summit comes at a pivotal moment in time. I’m encouraged by the passion and participation I’ve seen already at the Youth Summit and new corporate announcements as well. It’s a welcome antidote to the fatalistic worldview that is all too easy to adopt when it comes to the future of the planet.

We must also not give in too easily to optimism unless it’s paired with real action. The road ahead will be challenging, and progress will certainly require everyone to do more. We’re committed to doing our part. Microsoft sees a responsibility and opportunity as a leading cloud and AI provider to play a major role in deploying solutions, applying capital and market power and reducing our sizable environmental footprint.

But progress is indeed possible. That’s not a naïve hope but one based on evidence: technology breakthroughs over the past few years, new work underway across our business, and a growing appetite from customers to digitally transform their businesses with sustainability in mind. We’re celebrating today in New York, and tomorrow we get back to work. I hope you’ll join us.

Lucas Joppa - Chief Environmental Officer, Microsoft


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