Microsoft Sustainability Calculator Support Page
The Microsoft Sustainability Calculator provides new insight into carbon emissions data associated with Azure services. People responsible for reporting on and driving sustainability within their organizations can now quantify the carbon impact of each Azure subscription, and see estimated carbon savings from running those workloads in Azure versus on-premises datacenters. This data may be used for greenhouse gas reporting of Scope 3 emissions.
This connector version only supports enrollments from the Azure Enterprise portal. China enrollments aren't currently supported.
To access the Microsoft Sustainability Calculator, you’ll need the following information from your organization’s Azure administrator:
January 2020 release
- Enrollment ID
- Access key
December 2020 (preview) release
- Billing account ID for Microsoft Customer Agreement (MCA)/Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) customers or enrollment ID for Enterprise Agreement (EA) customers
- Billing ID for MCA/CSP customers or EA Admin read (minimum) access for EA customers
Only Azure Administrator roles can authenticate and connect the Sustainability Calculator to company data. This note applies to the December 2020 preview release.
Find your company’s access key
- Sign into the Azure Enterprise portal as an admin.
- Select Reports, and then select API Access Key to obtain the primary enrollment account key.
Find your company’s enrollment number
This procedure applies to EA customers only.
Sign into the Azure Enterprise portal as an admin.
Select Active Directory or Manage on the left-hand navigation bar. Your company’s enrollment number will display.
Find your company's billing account ID
This procedure applies to MCA/CSP customers only.
In the Azure portal, navigate to Cost Management + Billing.
Select your billing account.
Under Settings, select Properties. Your billing account ID will display under Billing account.
Sustainability Calculator Release January 2020
How to connect
Select Apps in the nav pane > select Get apps in the upper-right corner.
In AppSource, select the Apps tab, and search for the service you want.
Select Microsoft Sustainability Calculator, and then select Get it now.
In Install this Power BI App? select Install.
In the Apps pane, select the Microsoft Sustainability Calculator tile.
In Get started with your new app, select Connect.
Enter the Company name, User enrollment number, and Number of months. For information about obtaining your Enrollment number, see Find your company’s enrollment number. Select Next.
Enter the following information:
Field Value Authentication method Select Key. Account key Enter your access key. Privacy level setting for this data source Select Organizational.
Select Sign in.
The import process begins automatically. When complete, a new dashboard, report, and model appear in the Navigation Pane. Select the report to view your imported data.
Using the App
To update the parameters:
- Navigate to the Dataset settings and access the settings associated with the app workspace.
- Update the Company name, User enrollment number, or Number of months as necessary.
- Select Refresh to reload the data with the new parameters applied.
Sustainability Calculator Release (Preview) December 2020
Calculate your cloud-based carbon emissions today with the Microsoft Sustainability Calculator.
Accurate carbon accounting requires good information from partners, vendors, and suppliers. The Microsoft Sustainability Calculator gives you transparency on the carbon emissions generated by your usage of Azure and Microsoft Dynamics.
Microsoft’s carbon accounting extends across all three scopes of emissions with a methodology validated by Stanford University in 2018. It uses consistent and accurate carbon accounting to quantify the impact of Microsoft cloud services on customers’ environmental footprint. Microsoft is the only cloud provider to provide this level of transparency to customers while compiling reports for voluntary or statutory reporting requirements.
Before you start
The Microsoft Sustainability Calculator runs on Power BI Pro. If you don’t have Power BI Pro, get a free trial now.
You’ll need your Azure enrollment number. If you don’t have it, ask your organization’s Azure administrator for help. For more information, see Prerequisites.
Connecting the calculator: Five easy steps to carbon accounting
Download the app from AppSource.
You can also search for the app in Power BI.
Open the app.
Select Connect your data. In the Connect to Microsoft Sustainability Calculator (Preview) window, do one of the following sets of steps, depending on whether you're an EA or MCA/CSP customer:
Under EnrollmentIDorBillingAccountID, enter your enrollment number. For more information about obtaining your enrollment number, see Find your company’s enrollment number.
Under AgreementType, select Enrollment Number.
Under EnrollmentIDorBillingAccountID, enter your billing account ID in the following format:
For example: /providers/Microsoft.Billing/billingAccounts/*******:*******
For more information about obtaining your billing account ID, see Find your company's billing account ID.
Under AgreementType, select Manually Input Scope.
Connect your account:
The Azure portal panes that you use to connect your account might not be in the same order or display the same details as shown in the following examples.
In You are connecting to (1 of 2), under Authentication method, select OAuth2, and under Privacy level setting for this data source, select Organizational.
Select the user account.
In You are connecting (2 of 2), under Authentication method, select Anonymous, and under Privacy level setting for this data source, select Organizational.
Wait for the view to build, which can take up to 24 hours.
- How-to video
- The carbon benefits of cloud computing: A study on the Microsoft Cloud in partnership with WSP
I’m receiving an error at the time of connecting my data with the calculator. What can I do?
First, check in Azure Cost Management that you have IT Admin privileges. If you don’t, request this access from your administrator. Next, ensure you’re using the correct enrollment number.
I entered my enrollment number, but my company data isn’t loading. What’s the issue?
The Sustainability Calculator Public Preview may take up to 24 hours to load your data. Return after 24 hours and select the Refresh button in Power BI.
Is Microsoft trying to shift responsibility for emissions from Microsoft to me?
No. Carbon emissions from Azure services are reported as Microsoft's scope 1 and 2 emissions, consistent with the industry-standard Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol. The GHG Protocol defines scope 3 emissions as emissions another entity emits on your behalf, and are inherently double-counted. The Microsoft Sustainability Calculator provides new transparency to your scope 3 emissions associated with the use of Azure services, specifically Scope 3 Category 1 "Purchased goods and services".
Why are my emissions from use of the Microsoft cloud so much lower than they would be if I were using an on-premises solution?
Microsoft conducted a study, published in 2018 that evaluated the difference between the Microsoft cloud and on-premises or traditional datacenters. The results show that Azure Compute and Storage are between 52 and 79 percent more energy-efficient than traditional enterprise datacenters, depending on the specific comparison too low, medium, or high efficiency on-premises alternative being made. When taking into account our renewable energy purchases, Azure is between 79 and 98 percent more carbon efficient. These savings are due to four key features of the Microsoft Cloud: IT operational efficiency, IT equipment efficiency, datacenter infrastructure efficiency, and renewable electricity.
If Microsoft's operations are carbon neutral and powered by renewables, why aren't customer emissions from Azure services zero?
There are two primary reasons why customer emissions from Microsoft aren’t zero. The first is related to GHG accounting practices, and the second has to do with the boundary of this analysis. To achieve carbon neutral operations, Microsoft uses carbon offsets to reduce certain emission sources such as onsite fuel combustion for backup generators, refrigerants, and vehicle fleets. These reduce Microsoft’s net emissions to zero. The calculator reports gross GHG emissions before the application of these offsets, though the volume of offsets applied and net emissions is reported in the GHG Reporting tab for further transparency. The second reason is that in addition to the energy and emissions associated with the operation of Microsoft's datacenters, the emissions footprint includes the energy used by Internet Service Providers outside of Microsoft’s operational boundary to transmit data between Microsoft datacenters and Azure customers.
How am I supposed to use this data, and where do I report it?
Your emissions can be reported as part of your company's Scope 3 indirect carbon emissions. Scope 3 emissions are often disclosed in sustainability reports, CDP climate change, and other reporting outlets. In addition to the emissions totals, the emissions savings provide a clear example of how your company's decision to use Microsoft Azure services is contributing to global emissions reductions. To contextualize, the app indicates the equivalent vehicle miles avoided corresponding to the reduction in GHG emissions, based on EPA’s equivalency calculator factors as of January 2020.
What can I do to reduce emissions further?
Being resource and cost efficient in Azure will reduce the environmental impact from your use of Azure. As an example, unused virtual machines are wasteful whether in the cloud or on-premises. Right-sizing virtual machines to improve compute utilization factors (CUF) decreases energy use per useful output, just as it does with physical servers. Azure Cost Management gives you the tools to plan for, analyze and reduce your spending to maximize your cloud investment.
My company contract renewal process is underway and we'll have a new account number. Will I lose my historical emissions data?
Yes, you will. Before your renewal, be sure to download all historical data and reports you'll need for your records.
What is the methodology behind the tool?
The Microsoft Sustainability Calculator reflects the specific cloud services consumed and the associated energy requirements, efficiency of the datacenters providing those services, electricity fuel mixes in the regions in which those datacenters operate, and Microsoft’s purchases of renewable energy. As part of the app’s development, the methodology and its implementation went through third-party verification to ensure that it aligns to the World Resources Institute (WRI)/World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard. The scope of the verification, conducted in accordance with ISO 14064-3: Greenhouse gases--Part 3: Specification with guidance for the validation and verification of greenhouse gas assertions, included the estimation of emissions from Azure services, but excluded the estimation of on-premises emissions given the counterfactual nature of that estimate. A more detailed description of the carbon calculation is documented in the Calculation Methodology tab in the tool.
What data is required to calculate the Azure carbon footprint? Do you access my company's data?
The estimated carbon calculations are performed based on consumption of Azure services accessed using Azure Consumed Revenue. The Calculator does not access any of your stored customer data. The consumption data is combined with Microsoft's energy and carbon tracking data to compute the estimated emissions associated with your consumption of Azure services based on the datacenters that provide those services.
Does this calculation include all Azure services and all Azure regions?
The estimates include all Azure services in all Azure regions associated with the tenant ID provided during setup.
Characterizing on-premises emissions
Where does the Microsoft Sustainability Calculator obtain data about my on-premises emissions and operations?
The Microsoft Sustainability Calculator doesn’t obtain any information specifically about your on-premises datacenters except what you provide. As described in subsequent FAQs, the Microsoft Sustainability Calculator relies on industry research and user inputs about the efficiency and energy mix of on-premises alternatives to develop an estimate of on-premises emissions.
What are the assumptions regarding on-premises estimations? Are efficiency savings just from improvements in Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE)?
Efficiencies associated with Microsoft cloud services include far more than improved PUE. While Microsoft datacenters strive to optimize PUE, the primary efficiency improvements come from IT operational efficiency (dynamic provisioning, multitenancy, server utilization) and IT equipment efficiency (tailoring hardware to services ensuring more energy goes towards useful output), in addition to datacenter infrastructure efficiency (PUE improvements). Our 2018 study quantifies these savings compared to a range of on-premises alternatives ranging from low-efficiency to high-efficiency datacenters. These findings are used to estimate the energy use required for a corresponding on-premises datacenter to provide the same services that each customer consumes on the Microsoft cloud.
What is the assumed energy mix for the on-premises infrastructure?
By default, the Microsoft Sustainability Calculator estimates on-premises emissions based on the mix of renewables and non-renewables on the grid. It is assumed that the on-premises datacenter would be located on the same grid as Microsoft’s datacenters. However, for customers who purchase renewable electricity in addition to what’s on the grid (for example, through Power Purchase Agreements), users can select the percentage of renewable electricity, and the Microsoft Sustainability Calculator will adjust on-premises emissions accordingly.
When should I choose Low, Medium, or High for the efficiency of the on-premises infrastructure?
Users should select the efficiency most representative of the on-premises deployment they would like to compare against, based on the equipment and datacenter characteristics here:
- Low: Physical servers and direct attached storage in small localized datacenter (500-1,999 square feet)
- Medium: Mix of physical/virtualized servers and attached/dedicated storage in mid-tier internal datacenter (2,000-19,999 square feet)
- High: Virtualized servers and dedicated storage in high-end internal datacenter (>20,000 square feet)