Since 2012, Microsoft has worked hard to be carbon neutral, largely by investing in offsets that primarily avoided emissions. But in 2020 the company decided that wasn’t enough to address the world’s needs and announced a “moonshot” goal to be carbon negative by 2030.
The company said it would begin removing carbon from the atmosphere by catalyzing the effort through its investments and shifting to 100% renewable energy for its data centers, buildings and campuses, as well as moving to an electric vehicle fleet for campus operations around the globe and paying carbon taxes for activities such as employee travel, with the funds used to pay for sustainability improvements.
The company also committed to investing $1 billion over the following four years into new technologies and people working to stimulate and accelerate the development of carbon removal.
Those efforts and more were aimed at setting the company on a path to remove by 2050 all the carbon it has emitted either directly or by electrical consumption since it was founded in 1975.