Sustainability outcomes and benefits for business

Though the impact and benefits of the cloud have been traditionally measured with financial and efficiency metrics, it's become more common for customers to seek understanding about how the cloud can help them to achieve their sustainability and environmental goals. Cloud computing can support your organization to reduce carbon emissions, use resources more efficiently, and lessen your environmental footprint.

Watch the following video to learn more about sustainability and how cloud migration opens the door to sustainable solutions that are good for the planet and good for your business.

Microsoft has been leading in many of these areas. The company has been operating as carbon-neutral since 2012 and has made a commitment to be carbon-negative by 2030. The carbon benefits of cloud computing, a study on the Microsoft cloud in partnership with WSP, supports research on how moving on-premises datacenters to the Microsoft cloud can significantly reduce carbon footprints.

Bühler Group's's IoT platform, known as Bühler Insights and powered by Azure IoT Hub, generates vital data so customers can monitor machine performance and generate accurate records for every product batch, helping food producers optimize safety, sustainability, and transparency across the supply chain.

The Microsoft sustainability journey

The Microsoft journey started over a decade ago when the company started to apply new business practices and adopt cloud technology. We lowered our carbon emissions by 30 percent in 2009. Since then, Microsoft has made large strides forward by investing in reducing the company's carbon footprint further. Microsoft has focused on these four areas:

  • Carbon: Cutting energy consumption across corporate offices, charging carbon tax to business divisions, and using cloud-powered technology to lower emissions.
  • Ecosystem: Making a commitment to green datacenters and purchasing of 1.1 billion kilowatt-hours of green energy.
  • Water: Reducing use intensity and investing in technology for managing water.
  • Waste: Practicing responsible sourcing, recycling, and disposal; using software and technology to make buildings more efficient.

Read more about how Microsoft's commitment to a planet-sized challenge has helped us plan and achieve sustainability goals.

Examples of sustainability outcomes

Focusing on sustainability and protecting limited environmental resources is key to our future, and this focus also benefits business. Today, companies can draw from a broad range of assets and resources that can help them to expand into new geographic areas and develop innovative resource management solutions.

AGL, one of Australia's leading integrated energy companies, built a solution on Azure that remotely manages networked solar batteries. Learn about how the company is growing an innovative energy partnership across Australia to help local customers give back to the grid.

Bee'ah is a sustainability pioneer in the Middle East that believes in technology and sustainability creating solutions for the future. Their services include waste management, environmental consulting, renewable energy, and sustainable transportation. Azure has supported the company to launch the first AI platform to digitize all operations and services. Read more about how the cloud drives sustainable management and digital innovation throughout the company's sustainability journey.

These customer stories demonstrate how prioritizing sustainability and environmental solutions can help organizations to create new business opportunities.

Next steps

An intentional approach can help organizations to navigate their sustainability journey. These four steps can influence outcomes for your company:

Step 1: Record and understand your company's carbon emissions. Start by categorizing your emissions, which will help you to list of areas on which to focus. The Microsoft sustainability calculator can assist you with this task.

Step 2: Evaluate whether your vendors, partners, and providers are taking steps to reduce their emissions and if these steps align with yours.

Step 3: Create an incentive for teams to reduce carbon emissions. The Microsoft carbon fee: theory and practice guide can help your organization to drive alignment and accountability across your teams.

Step 4: Seek out teams in our business to enlist their support and generate ideas for areas for improvement. Build an innovation culture where individuals are participants with a sense of ownership.

Learn more about how your organization can measure and reach sustainability outcomes with the cloud.