Microsoft pledges to remove its carbon footprint dating back to 1975

17 Jan 2020

Image: © Andrei/

Microsoft is making a ‘moonshot’, with the aim of removing its historical carbon footprint by 2050.

Microsoft has pledged that within the next 30 years it will remove all the carbon it has emitted since it was founded in 1975.

While the company has vowed to be carbon negative by 2030, it is going further by aiming to remove its historical carbon footprint completely by 2050. The company also announced a $1bn climate innovation fund to help boost the development of carbon reduction and removal technologies.

In a blog post on Thursday (16 January), Microsoft president Brad Smith said: “While the world will need to reach net-zero, those of us who can afford to move faster and go further should do so.

“That’s why today we are announcing an ambitious goal and a new plan to reduce and ultimately remove Microsoft’s carbon footprint.

“By 2030, Microsoft will be carbon negative, and by 2050 Microsoft will remove from the environment all the carbon the company has emitted either directly or by electrical consumption since it was founded in 1975.”

The company revealed a seven-point plan to help achieve its goals, including always looking at the best available science and maths on carbon reduction, developing digital technology to help its customers and suppliers reduce their carbon footprints and supporting new public policy initiatives to speed up carbon reduction and removal.

Microsoft also made a series of promises that include the company being entirely powered by renewable energy by 2025, including data centres, buildings and campuses. Starting in July, all of the company’s internal divisions will pay an internal carbon fee that will be lower than the company-wide $15 per metric ton, but which will increase over time.

“Reducing carbon is where the world needs to go, and we recognise that it’s what our customers and employees are asking us to pursue,” Smith said. “This is a bold bet – a moonshot – for Microsoft. And it will need to become a moonshot for the world.”

The firm also said it would publish an annual environmental sustainability report to detail its progress.

– PA Media, with additional reporting from Colm Gorey