By Chris Barry, President, Microsoft Canada
The ongoing wildfires across Canada are a stark reminder that we find ourselves at a critical time in the fight for a net-zero future. At Microsoft, we understand that organizations are facing complex challenges as they balance investments to achieve both sustainability performance and drive business growth. We understand it because we’re living it first-hand.
In 2020, we announced that Microsoft will be a carbon negative, water positive, zero waste company that protects ecosystems—all by 2030. Three years into this journey, we continue to make steady progress and remain loyal in our commitment. We’re taking accountability for our operational footprint and are committed to sharing learnings and being transparent about our progress. Our latest Environmental Sustainability Report details this progress, along with our challenges and learnings to accelerate global progress towards net-zero.
What’s more, with so much happening in the world of tech and AI, we are ushering in a new technological era where digital technology will be a key driver in fostering a more sustainable world. At Microsoft we know we play a leading role in developing and providing this technology. We empower organizations to manage their own environmental footprints with leading solutions, such as Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability, and will continue to accelerate innovation for new climate technologies.
To further our sustainability progress here in Canada, we’re proud to have joined the Government of Canada’s Net Zero Challenge. This commitment was announced at this year’s GLOBExCHANGE conference alongside Environment and Climate Change Minister, Steven Guilbeault, and over 40 other companies. Businesses that join the Challenge commit to developing and implementing credible and effective plans to transition their facilities and operations to net-zero emissions by 2050.
Joining the Net-Zero Challenge extends our accountability and reporting of progress to Canada and other organizations across all industries – including our customers and our partners. There’s no doubt that the path to net-zero will require innovation, hard work and integrated collaboration across sectors – which is why we’re challenging other Canadian companies across industries to make their own commitment to the Net Zero Challenge and realize their sustainability goals. We believe that no matter the industry, every organization on the planet stands to benefit from a low-carbon future. But perhaps these challenges and opportunities are most acutely recognized by our energy sector.
The energy industry is stepping up to the monumental task of energy transition – armed with agility and innovation, finding new ways of working and developing new business models for our common low-carbon future. Their success is Canada’s success, and this is why Microsoft is working alongside them to ensure innovation and technology is keeping up with the industry’s ambitious and bold commitments to create a sustainable future for our country.
Consider our partnership with Ontario Power Generation (OPG), one of Canada’s largest power generators and clean technology innovators. What began as a collaboration to help their Energy Markets team use Microsoft Azure to modernize processes and deliver more value to Ontarians has evolved into something greater, a partnership to drive sustainable growth across Canada. Last fall, we expanded our work with a series of new initiatives to deliver innovative clean energy solutions and digital skilling programs to help strengthen OPG’s future as a clean energy leader and advance progress towards a net-zero future.
Beyond the energy industry, we are working with many other incredible organizations across all sectors to drive forward the transformational change needed to meet their sustainability goals. We’re optimistic about our own goals and steadfast on assisting both our customers and Canada get there as well.
To learn more about our commitments to creating a more sustainable future visit: Environmental Sustainability | Microsoft CSR