Working collectively to accelerate Indonesia’s sustainability journey

 |   Jean-Philippe Courtois, Executive Vice President and President of Microsoft National Transformation Partnerships 

Across Indonesia, there is growing recognition of the need for urgent action on climate change. Ranked in the top third of countries in terms of climate risk, the archipelago is highly vulnerable to climate change impacts such as longer and more severe droughts, tidal flooding, sea level rise, increasing temperature, and shifts in rainfall patterns that threaten agriculture.

At Microsoft, we know that we only do well when the world does well. And we believe technology can and must play a role in addressing climate change and advancing the resiliency of societies. As a company, we succeed only when we help the world around us succeed. But what does this approach look like in practice in Indonesia – and how are we helping to create a more sustainable future here in everything that we do?

Taking responsibility for our carbon footprint

Microsoft’s approach to addressing the climate crisis starts with ourselves. In 2020, we made a bold set of commitments: to be a carbon negative, water positive, zero waste company that protects ecosystems – all by 2030.

Three years into this journey, we remain steadfast. However, no one company can do this alone. We know that we can create positive change when we empower, partner with and learn from other organizations. As we’ve made progress towards our own commitments, we’re translating our experiences, both the successes and the set-backs, into helping our partners and customers be more sustainable, too.

We know that Data and AI can help companies better measure and predict their impacts. Accordingly, in 2022, we launched Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability, a comprehensive suite of enterprise-grade sustainability management tools. It’s about unifying data intelligence to help organizations measure and monitor their performance and help embed sustainability through their organization and value chain.

We also helped advance a set of global sustainability initiatives that aim to benefit every person and organization on the planet. These include accelerating the availability of new climate technologies through our four-year, US$1 billion Climate Innovation Fund.

Today, we continue to strengthen our climate policy agenda, support the development of a more reliable and interoperable carbon accounting system, advocate for skilling programs to expand the green workforce, and work to enabling a just transition for vulnerable populations in Indonesia and beyond.

Building sustainable datacenters

Microsoft’s commitment to a sustainable future is a core part of our Berdayakan Ekonomi Digital Indonesia initiative. This is our plan to help accelerate the nation’s path to becoming Southeast Asia’s leading digital economy.

As part of this initiative, we are establishing a new datacenter region to deliver trusted cloud services locally, with world-class data security, privacy, and the ability to store data within Indonesia’s borders. The new facilities are also designed to comply with Microsoft’s sustainability goals – including powering our datacenters with 100 per cent carbon-free energy by 2025.

Other measures include paying special attention to power usage effectiveness (PUE), which measures cloud energy efficiency. The calculation is total power consumption divided by IT power consumption, with a lower PUE score indicating more energy-efficient datacenters. A PUE of 1.0 is the best score. Our datacenters in Indonesia will have a design average PUE of 1.32.

We’re also taking steps to ensure our Indonesia datacenters can earn Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification once they are constructed. LEED provides a framework for healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving green buildings with lower carbon emissions. Gold certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement and leadership.

Helping startups create a greener future

The work we’re doing at Microsoft to reduce our emissions extends to collaborations with customers and partners. We’re committed to advancing sustainability-related technology innovations across Indonesia, and empowering others to do the same.

Take climate action startup Jejakin. Founded in 2018 by digital native and tech entrepreneur Arfan Arlanda, Jejakin offers companies and individuals an innovative way to easily quantify their carbon emissions, then take swift action to offset the results.

Supported by Microsoft’s cloud and AI solutions, Jejakin’s digital platform collects and analyzes environmental information from numerous data sources, including drones and IoT sensors. This helps rapidly calculate the carbon footprints of individuals and businesses. The platform suggests ways to balance those emissions by connecting them to various green projects in the Jejakin carbon offset marketplace. Users can also sign up for regular updates on their chosen project.

The effectiveness of Jejakin’s approach is accelerating Indonesia’s decarbonization efforts. Jejakin has partnered with numerous organizations such as MRT Jakarta, one of the country’s busiest railway transportation hub. By accessing a Jejakin feature on the organization’s mobile app, MRT Jakarta’s 80,000 daily passengers can now quickly calculate and offset the carbon footprint of their ride by purchasing carbon credits.

Accelerating climate action – together

As we continue to take responsibility for the impact of our footprint and work to improve the sustainability of our Indonesia operations, Microsoft believes collaboration is vital to ensure the country’s growth and prosperity is sustainable long term.

From expanding the use of AI to address sustainability to pursuing new public and private sector partnerships, we remain focused on helping organizations large and small reduce their environmental impact with innovative technology solutions.

The journey to net zero is a shared one. By combining the power of people plus leading-edge technology, I’m confident we can rise together to meet the increasingly urgent need for climate action and make measurable progress for Indonesia.