Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability: A new specialized and sustainable cloud

The cloud has become one of the most important pillars of Microsoft, a reality that has been noticed in its financial results, and also in the latest movements that the Redmond giant has made. Now, with the presentation of Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability, it is clear that the American company wants to go further in this long-distance race, it does not seek to limit itself to being a giant within the sector, but rather aspires to become the benchmark of the same.

Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability is a specialized cloud with which the Redmond giant wants to offer companies, public entities and other organizations the possibility of accessing a set of complete, integrated and automated knowledge to accelerate each stage of their path to digitization while maintaining a deep commitment to sustainability.

To achieve this, Microsoft has signed renewable energy purchase agreements in 10 countries around the world, including Spain, which has made it the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy of 2021. It is an important achievement that Noelle Walsh, corporate vice president of Cloud Operations and Innovation at Microsoft, wanted to comment saying:

“Data centers should be part of the solution for broad decarbonization, but the climate challenges we face will not be solved by a single company or industry. Our mission is to find ways to improve our data center operations, share these learnings with the entire cloud industry, and empower our customers and partners through tools to measure their sustainability progress. “

Microsoft has also defined the future of the data center from a sustainability perspective. In this sense, he explained that, as the demand for the cloud in the public and private sectors continues to grow, it is essential dedicate resources to finding creative and innovative solutions in order to meet increasingly ambitious sustainability goals.

For this, the company has launched numerous initiatives, among which we can highlight:

  • Reduce water use in data center operations by 95% by 2024 and be water positive by 2030.
  • Continuous research in immersion cooling as an alternative to using water.
  • Design of data centers that support local ecosystems.
  • Reduce the carbon footprint in the design and construction of data centers.

Finally, the Redmond giant has also shared some of his most important achievements on sustainability and cloud computing:

  • Renewable energy and decarbonization of the grid: In July, the company expanded its goal of achieving a 100% renewable energy supply by 2025, committing to maintain 100% electricity consumption 100% of the time, relying on carbon-free energy purchases. In the last 12 months, Microsoft has signed new renewable energy purchase agreements for approximately 5.8 gigawatts in 10 countries around the world, including Spain, with more than 35 individual agreements. According to Bloomberg NEF, Microsoft is the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy in 2021.
  • Creation of Microsoft Circular Centers to extend the life cycle servers and reuse them, thus reducing waste: In 2020, their main suppliers reduced their collective carbon footprint by 21 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent and, over the next year, they will extend this model to all their computing assets in the cloud to achieve a reuse of electronic equipment of 90%.
  • LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environment) Gold Certification: The company plans to obtain this accreditation for all its data centers, in order to guarantee the energy and resource efficiency of all its buildings. For now, your Arizona data center region, which opened in June, already has this certification.
  • Energy Matching in Action 24/7: Sweden is the country chosen to implement a solution developed together with Vattenfall to monitor hourly energy consumption and guarantee the use of 100% renewable energy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Working together with the supply chain in the cloud to reduce indirect emissions (scope 3): Microsoft’s top vendors have already reduced their collective footprint by 23.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) and saved a total of $ 1.47 billion, according to the latest Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) reporting cycle.

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