Microsoft has decided to increase its own internal carbon tax to almost $15 per metric ton. The company believes by doing this, its business divisions will be unable to ignore climate change concerns.
Microsoft began an internal carbon tax in 2012. Emissions generated from energy usage, emissions released by the company, and air mileage from business travel are all taken into account by the company. On top of this, Microsoft has changed its renewable energy targets. By 2023, the company plans to power 70% of its data centers with renewable energy.
Data Centers Use A Lot of Energy
It’s no secret that data centers use a lot of energy and Microsoft is purchasing and constructing new data centers around the world to become the leader in cloud computing. Which, makes reducing the carbon footprint left behind by these data centers crucial for the company in order to cut its emissions by 75% in 2030, which Microsoft is on track for.
To put this into perspective, the tech industries energy demand has been increasing by approximately 9% every year. The driving factor behind this is data centers. Electricity use and heat generation are the main factors in global emissions and data centers are responsible for both of these.
Developing AI To Help
Microsoft is planning to develop AI to help other businesses reduce their carbon footprint. An example they provided was to group together hosting environmental data and display it publically on cloud services. This will allow other companies to make improvements to their own systems and see the full impact on their data centers.
It is estimated that AI could lower greenhouse gases by 4% by 2030. However, this is not limited to the tech industry. For example, the transportation industry is one of many that could benefit greatly from AI guidance. Of course, it is up to the companies to decide to listen.
Microsoft Is Leading The Way
It is not an understatement to say that Microsoft is one of the most influential, if not the most, in the entire tech industry. Their push to slow down and prevent climate change from ruining the lives of future generations is great news. However, they will not be successful alone. Huge tech companies are all beginning to lessen their impact on the environment and Microsoft is leading the charge.