Microsoft announces general availability of Cloud for Sustainability

The general release comes nearly a year after the public preview of the SaaS solution was announced.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

Microsoft has committed to being carbon negative by 2030, and the company hopes that by 2050, it will have removed from the environment all carbon that has been emitted by the business -- directly and by electrical consumption -- since it was founded in 1975.

In pursuit of achieving its own ambitious plan, Microsoft has also been helping customers to achieve their sustainability goals.

Last July, the tech giant announced the public preview of its Cloud for Sustainability, a SaaS solution that organisations can use to record, report, and reduce emissions across their enterprise.

Now, Microsoft said it will be making the cloud bundle generally available on June 1.

"Organisations need more accessible, centralized data intelligence to make the high-stakes decisions that are required right now to address complex issues, weighing both business and ESG [environmental, social, and social governance] criteria to direct capital toward investment opportunities that balance growth and impact," Microsoft said in a blog post.

The company boasted the extensible Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability Solution has the ability to centralise previously disparate data to provide greater visibility of an organisation's sustainability efforts and supply chain; enable the ability for organisations to record, report, and reduce environmental impact through automated data connections; and help pinpoint specific emissions areas to track.

Earlier this year, Microsoft announced the preview of its Emissions Impact Dashboard (EID) for Microsoft 365, off the back of making the tool widely available for Azure last October.

The EID for Microsoft 365 helps organisations quantify the greenhouse gas emissions associated with their usage of Microsoft 365 applications, including Exchange Online, SharePoint, OneDrive for Business, and Microsoft Teams.

At the time, Microsoft said releasing the preview of its EID for Microsoft was a precursor for the general availability launch of Cloud for Sustainability.

"Down the road, we plan to make the insights produced by the Emissions Impact Dashboard available via Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability. This will help customers gain a broader understanding of their environmental impact, end-to-end," Microsoft said at the time.

Meanwhile, a survey of 500 businesses in Australia and New Zealand undertaken by Deloitte has indicated that more than a third of businesses still do not have a climate strategy, and of those that do, 60% have not seen significant emission reductions.

However, 70% of Australian and New Zealand businesses said that they intend to reduce emissions within the next three years. 40% of businesses also said they identify sustainability among their top three business priorities.

Additionally, the survey found that one in five businesses rank "improving sustainability" as one of the key benefits of transitioning to cloud technology with 97% of businesses reporting positive environmental impacts from using cloud technology.

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