Microsoft’s Carbon Footprint Rewind

February 3, 2020
Microsoft’s Carbon Footprint Rewind

Microsoft plans to become “carbon negative” by 2030 by using both natural and technological solutions.

The company recently shared a big picture view of its commitment to sustainability efforts. Microsoft plans to reach zero emissions across its entire supply chain.  The global network of data centers operated by Microsoft will be operated in the future by renewable energy.

Video Spotlight:

This post is based on the CBS News article, Microsoft plans to erase its entire carbon footprint since 1975 founding, by Irina Ivanova, January 16, 2020, and the YouTube videos in the Video Spotlight above. Image source: Shutterstock / Toa55.

Discussion Questions:

1. How can Microsoft force supply chain partners to be carbon free?  Will this be possible by 2030? Why or why not?

Guidance: Students should perform a quick internet search related to these questions.  Answers will vary, but consider the need for electric vehicles as one stumbling block at this time.  Carbon free means trucking will have to change rapidly in the next decade.  Is this going to happen?  Could it happen?  Why or why not?

2. This question could be posed to the class or small groups. If you managed a supply chain for another company, what lessons from Microsoft’s development of a zero-emissions supply chain would you be most interested in and why?

Guidance: Discussion will vary.  One point that underlies this question is the company’s ability to identify supply chain partners capable of or interested in zero-emissions operations.  Will there be enough partners available in every industry to make this possible by 2030? By 2050?  Are there ways a company can encourage or support a partner’s transition to zero-emissions?  What role does the government play in all this?


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