Microsoft teams up with Nike, Mercedes-Benz, and Unilever to launch Transform to Net Zero initiative
WHAT IS NET ZERO AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT
Net Zero implies the removal of human-produced greenhouse gases from the atmosphere by a technique called Carbon Removal. Industries and automobiles majorly contribute to greenhouse gases. Achieving Net Zero will have a significant impact on the climate and persisting pollution and global warming on Earth.
TRANSFORM TO NET ZERO INITIATIVE
Transform to Net Zero is an initiative launched by Microsoft Corp. in collaboration with Environmental Defence Fund (EDF) and eight other companies, namely A.P. Moller – Maersk, Danone, Mercedes-Benz AG, Natura & Co, NIKE, Starbucks, Unilever, and Wipro. Each of these companies will set an example for other similar business groups towards a sustainable approach. Supported by Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), the drive will become a significant step towards a greener society and pledges to remove carbon from the atmosphere.
“We have heard from both those with carbon goals and those that want to engage but don’t know where to start that they need information and tools to close the gap between intention and transformation.” – Lucas Joppa
The launch will also set course the Microsoft Sustainability Calculator, which will allow clients of Microsoft Azure (Microsoft’s cloud computing service) to assist on how to deliver a zero-carbon economy.
THE NEED FOR DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION
Founded almost four decades ago, the tech giant was ahead of its competitors with a significant contribution towards cloud computing that set forth a drastic change in the field of technology. Cloud computing requires a large amount of electricity and functions on diesel fuel, thus contributing to 4% of the total greenhouse gases per year since its establishment. Moreover, several companies across the globe utilize their cloud-based technology, making the issue a global concern.
THE MAIN GOALS BEHIND THE INITIATIVE
- Microsoft sustainability calculator
It calculates the energy requirements of Azure, the energy requirements, and the use of renewable energy of the electric grid serving its data centre. Besides, it also calculates the emissions associated with the transfer of data over the internet. The calculator provides an estimate of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, measured in total metric tons of carbon equivalent (MTCO2e). The calculator promotes customers to use renewable energy instead of diesel and encourages those already using green technology.
- Renewable energy and backup of solar power
The company invested $50 million to Energy Impact Partners that will assist the company in decarbonization. Microsoft is also partnering with renewable energy developer Sol Systems, which will bring solar panels to businesses owned by minorities and women.
The main principles:
- Focused on transformation: Translating thoughts into action on various sectors which includes corporate strategy, governance, and accountability, finance, and operations, risk management, etc.
- Tested data and methods led by science: Committed to formulating a blueprint to achieve a 1.5°C world with science. It aims to improve the quality and availability of research and data that contribute to a better climate.
- Leveraging existing efforts: It will commit to collaborating with existing net-zero initiatives that would assist in achieving net-zero emissions.
- Strong governance and oversight: The governance and oversight structures will contribute to achieving net-zero, including developing innovative products, services, and business models.
- Healthy reduction and removal of carbon emissions: Net-zero requires emissions reductions through climate-positive initiatives across the entire value chain to achieve net-zero by 2050 with a stable climate.
- Innovative investments: Compliance to invest in net-zero transformation partnering with other companies is an important step towards net-zero.
- Policy action: Improving public policy enables and accelerates progress towards net zero while engaging with bodies such as trade associations to achieve this objective.
- Transparency and accountability: Transparency in terms of sharing information publicly with stakeholders, such as investors, customers, and consumers.
- Just and sustainable transition: A sustainable climate is a necessity to all irrespective of race, gender, sex, etc. which is restricted to the marginalized groups and low-income communities. Thus, such an initiative considers humanity and will benefit all.
3. Impact of net-zero initiative on architecture
Considering the current climatic conditions, Net-Zero must be an aim to be achieved in every field, including architecture. Architects across the globe are practicing new techniques that will pave their way to a sustainable future. Although small scale designs can easily achieve sustainability, recent technologies favoring the usage of non-renewable resources due to its high efficiency and energy requirements are a hindrance towards opting green alternatives.
Since a large sector of the human population use Microsoft software in every aspect of life, an initiative launched by them would be an ignition towards carbon elimination actions and green technologies.
4. The new future paved by the Initiative
Transform to Net-Zero is a ground-breaking initiative with scope to eliminate existing GHG and build a greener future. They aim to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, aiming to eliminate more carbon emissions from the atmosphere than its production and bring global warming below 1.5°C. It bridges the gap between thought and action through a well-planned blueprint that leads the way for future business prospects. The initiative will eliminate the misconception that new technology is harmful to the environment and bring a new picture of futurism that benefits humanity.