Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability to enter general availability in June 2022

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Microsoft has confirmed its suite of sustainability-focused software-as-a-service (SaaS) tools, which are designed to help enterprises shrink their environmental footprint, will become generally available from 1 June 2022.

Known as the Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability, the product suite provides enterprises with cloud-based data capture and analysis capabilities that will allow them to collect and report their emissions data in real time with greater ease and use this information to make changes to how they operate.

“Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability enables users to not only set industry-aligned sustainability targets but provides actionable insights and reduction strategies to expedite their sustainability journeys,” the documentation stated.

The setup is designed so users can get visibility of their enterprise’s total emissions footprint and store it in a centralised place in a common format, according to Microsoft’s documentation for the product, which also sets out a series of use cases for the technology.

For example, the Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability could be used by CIOs that want to get a read on the total carbon emissions generated by through their use of cloud, end-user devices and other applications, said Microsoft.

It could also allow companies to provide their customers with a sustainability scorecard that tracks their progress on curbing their carbon emissions, Microsoft added.

“Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability enables any organisation to more easily and effectively record, report, reduce and replace their emissions,” the documentation concluded.

Microsoft announced the public preview of its cloud-based sustainability toolkit in late October 2021, to coincide with the start date of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland.

After more than six months of further tweaks and development, the offering will enter general availability on 1 June 2022, the company confirmed in a blog post, co-authored by Alysa Taylor, corporate vice-president for industry apps and data marketing; and Elisabeth Brinton, Microsoft’s corporate vice-president for sustainability.

“To effectively drive sustainability reporting, sustainability efforts, and business transformation, organisations need better visibility into activities across their enterprise and value chain,” they wrote.

“Collecting and connecting internet of things (IoT) data from devices using sensors – combined with rich services at the edge or in the cloud – provides the basis to monitor and measure activities at scale.”

The blog post also goes on to pitch the Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability as part of the software giant’s growing portfolio of environmental, social and governance (ESG) capabilities, as well as another show of its commitment to fighting climate change.

As previously reported by Computer Weekly, Microsoft set out plans in January 2020 to become a carbon-negative company by 2030, and several months later went public with its pledge to become a water-positive company by 2030.

“Our own sustainability journey began when we set our first carbon goal more than a decade ago. This led us to better organise our data and realign our company’s vision and strategy with our sustainability goals,” the blog post continued.

“We continue to build on our commitments to innovate and invest in technologies that address environmental sustainability and to transparently share our achievements and setbacks so that we can all learn together.”

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