Pledge by Microsoft Corporation
Microsoft's 1t.org PledgeCarbon Negative by 2030 and Historic Emissions Removed by 2050
Supporting actions: Data and Technological Tools, Forest Product Markets and Innovation, Workforce Development, Environmental Education, Conservation Finance,
Microsoft’s pledge is comprised of commitments and policies that grow and conserve trees, as well as activities that support forests.
Microsoft has committed to operate carbon negative by 2030, which we define as reducing our operational and supply chain greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by over half, removing the equivalent of our remaining emissions, and removing the equivalent of our historical emissions by 2050. We currently estimate that we will need 6 million metric tons (mt) of carbon dioxide removal (CDR) by 2030, starting with 1 million mt in 2021. Among Microsoft's carbon removal efforts are afforestation, reforestation, other natural climate solutions, and engineered carbon removal solutions.
Microsoft has also committed to protecting more land than we use by 2025, using approaches such as land acquisition, conservation easement, national park creation, and community or indigenous-led conservation for both forests and grasslands. In the United States, approximately 1,000 acres will be conserved, and internationally, Microsoft will conserve approximately 10,000 acres.
Microsoft is replacing each tree removed during construction of data centers with at least one tree, and we strive for a 3:1 replacement ratio.
Microsoft's Climate Innovation Fund will invest in enabling digital technologies to scale nature-based carbon markets in the US and globally. The Fund is complementary to Microsoft’s AI for Earth program, which puts artificial intelligence technology into the hands of the world’s leading ecologists and conservation technologists, and organizations around the world that are working to protect our planet. So far, Microsoft has worked to empower nearly 500 organizations in 81 countries around the world working on game-changing environmental innovations.
National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, Woodland Environmental Fund, City Forest Credits, Natural Capital Partners, Ecosia, Trees Forever, American Forests, Staatsbosbeheer, Irish Forestry Service, Forest Carbon Ltd., and Green Belt, and Arbor Day Foundation, among others.
Data & Technological Tools
Using satellite and aerial imagery and AI, Microsoft AI for Earth grantee SilviaTerra has created Basemap, showing the species and size of every tree of every forested acre in the continental United States. By leveraging compute at cloud-scale, SilviaTerra was able to process more than 800TB of data 10x more quickly than before. This more efficient and lower cost methodology allows them to update Basemap annually. Foresters can now get an inventory of a forest at 30 meter resolution to better determine carbon sequestration, timber value, and wildlife habitat suitability for key species.
Forest Product Markets & Innovation
Microsoft Real Estate & Facilities policy requires Forest Stewardship Council Certified wood to be used for construction projects over $75,000.
For Microsoft’s Silicon Valley campus, we used cross-laminated timber (CLT) to construct what will be the largest mass wood structure built to date in the U.S. The timber used was considered deadwood, already diseased or dying from beetles in their natural habitat. In total, Microsoft planted 376 net new trees that represent a more ecologically correct mix of species. These trees are native to California and support the oak forest habitat restoration effort.
Workforce Development & Environmental Education
Urban forest development is popular among communities with which Microsoft’s Data Center Community Development team engages. Through urban tree planting, Microsoft is also engaging youth in professional development activities, such as interview coaching and resume review. In Des Moines, Iowa, Microsoft partnered with Trees Forever to employ and train area teenagers, grow tree equity, and deliver carbon+ credits certified through City Forest Credits. Altogether, the Microsoft - Trees Forever partnership employed 58 young adults and planted 728 trees.
In Ireland, Microsoft partnered with Natural Capital Partners, Green Belt, and Forest Carbon for the Irish Forest Creation project, which planted 369,506 trees and afforested 138 acres in support of local farmers to diversify their income sources.
Microsoft's $1 billion Climate Innovation Fund will invest in enabling digital technologies and innovative forest carbon management to scale nature-based carbon markets globally.
Aligned to Microsoft’s carbon negative commitment, Microsoft Advertising announced its own goal to plant 250,000 trees in 2020 on behalf of its clients, and with support from our partners and employees. We’re thrilled to support tree planting in Uganda, Burkina Faso, and Brazil.
Microsoft is committed to fostering climate equity by engaging and empowering stakeholders who have previously faced systemic barriers to accessing climate finance, and by acknowledging and addressing the disproportionate impacts of climate change on developing countries, low-income communities, and otherwise disadvantaged individuals.
The new trees Microsoft plants in support of construction projects are an ecologically correct or more ecologically correct mix of species than those deforested during construction.