Microsoft vows to be carbon negative in ten years time

Microsoft vows to be carbon negative in ten years time

Tech giant Microsoft has said it wants to be "carbon negative" by the year 2030.

In a blog post on its website, the Big M said that the consensus is clear and that carbon emissions are having a drastic impact on the atmosphere. In ten years' time the company wants to be removing more carbon than it is outputting and in 30 years - by 2050 - it wants to have repaired the carbon it has outputted in the past.

That's some big targets to hit! 

In order to do this, Microsoft plans on switching over to 100 per cent renewable energy by 2025 and make sure its on-site vehicles are electric by 2030. The firm is also introducing an internal carbon tax as an incentive to cut down on emissions. 

"While the world will need to reach net zero, those of us who can afford to move faster and go further should do so. That’s why today we are announcing an ambitious goal and a new plan to reduce and ultimately remove Microsoft’s carbon footprint," president Brad Smith said. 

"By 2030 Microsoft will be carbon negative, and by 2050 Microsoft will remove from the environment all the carbon the company has emitted either directly or by electrical consumption since it was founded in 1975.

"We recognise that progress requires not just a bold goal but a detailed plan. As described below, we are launching today an aggressive program to cut our carbon emissions by more than half by 2030, both for our direct emissions and for our entire supply and value chain. We will fund this in part by expanding our internal carbon fee, in place since 2012 and increased last year, to start charging not only our direct emissions, but those from our supply and value chains.

"We are also launching an initiative to use Microsoft technology to help our suppliers and customers around the world reduce their own carbon footprints and a new $1 billion climate innovation fund to accelerate the global development of carbon reduction, capture, and removal technologies. Beginning next year, we will also make carbon reduction an explicit aspect of our procurement processes for our supply chain. Our progress on all of these fronts will be published in a new annual Environmental Sustainability Report that will detail our carbon impact and reduction journey. And lastly, all this work will be supported by our voice and advocacy supporting public policy that will accelerate carbon reduction and removal opportunities."

Microsoft is part of the Play for the Planet initiative, which sees top video game companies pledging to reduce their impact on the Earth's climate. An Australian academic is also looking into the carbon footprint of game development with new research.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.