Microsoft itself wants to do business with it not only be CO2 neutral by 2030, but from then on will even reduce the proportion of CO2 in the atmosphere again. By 2050, the group even wants to have removed from the atmosphere all the CO2 that it has emitted through its business activities since it was founded in 1975. In an interview with the BBC on the sidelines of the UN Climate Change Conference 2021 in Glasgow, Microsoft President emphasized Brad Smith now that his company also wants to help other companies to become more climate-friendly – for example companies in the oil and gas industry.
For products like Windows or Office Smith did not want to go so far that they should no longer be sold to companies that do not adhere to certain environmental standards. With these products “off the shelf” Smith does not believe that he can influence other companies. “I don’t think we’re headed for a future where we think what to think of you before we sell you something,” said Smith. In his view, that doesn’t make the world a better place.
However, he can imagine that Microsoft will no longer enter into close partnerships with companies in areas such as artificial intelligence that are not interested in reducing the impact of their actions on the environment. According to the BBC reporter’s question, the statement explicitly referred to companies in the oil and gas industry. But it could well be an indication that Microsoft will place higher demands on customers and partners in the future. That wouldn’t be the first time: Last year Microsoft – like Amazon and IBM before – suspended the sale of facial recognition technology to police authorities after criticism from human rights activists.
The company had the fact that Microsoft also wants to credit the success of its customers in reducing their CO2 footprint with its “experience and the possibilities of data analysis, artificial intelligence and digital technologies” explained earlier. “For many customers, sustainability is already a central component in their company, while others are only just beginning to improve their carbon footprint. Regardless of where a company is, we all actively support them,” it said in January 2020.
However, Microsoft already stated at the time: “Sustainability will become an integral part of our sales and procurement processes with suppliers and business customers. We will also develop and provide new digital tools that help implement sustainability requirements.”
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