Microsoft commits to act on climate change, signs White House's Climate Pledge

Kellogg Brengel

Microsoft commits to act on climate change, signs White House's Pledge

Today, Microsoft and twelve other large corporations signed the American Business Act on Climate Pledge at the White House, promising new carbon neutral targets for their operations to help mitigate climate change.

In today’s announcement, Microsoft laid out the targets they committed to in signing the American Business Act on Climate Pledge. Microsoft promises to:

  • Maintain carbon neutral operations for our emissions from all our operations – including datacenters, offices, labs, manufacturing – through efficiency, green power, and offsets
  • Produce and purchase 100% green power for all of our operations
  • Offset 100% of emissions from fuel combustion, business air travel, and other sources through supporting carbon offset projects that also drive social benefits

Microsoft also took this opportunity to highlight that since July 1, 2012 they have been carbon neutral and are committed to 100% green power. Additionally, the company has an internal carbon fee in accounting for their operations to “drive awareness and accountability” for carbon use.

Similarly, the White House released a statement regarding today’s American Business Act on Climate Pledge. It states that by signing this pledge, companies will also voice support for strong outcomes at the Conference of Parties (COP 21) in Paris later this year when the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change meets to discuss a potential successor to the Kyoto Protocol.

The White House also hopes that the companies signing this pledge will be setting an example for their peers and mobilize more organizations, large and small, in the private sector to go carbon neutral. In all, the thirteen companies that signed the pledge represent “more than $1.3 trillion in revenue in 2014 with a combined market capitalization of at least $2.5 trillion.” The diverse group of companies covers a range of industries, from manufacturing to finance, but notably includes Apple and Google in addition to Microsoft.

Are technology companies making significant progress towards mitigating climate change? What else should Microsoft be doing to help solve the problem? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.