In January we launched Microsoft’s carbon initiative, setting new goals for our company to become carbon negative by the end of this decade. While COVID-19 has upended daily life for almost all of us since then, sustainability issues have become no less urgent or important. That’s why today we’re announcing the second step in our sustainability efforts for 2020, focusing on preserving and protecting the biodiversity and health of the world’s ecosystems.
Nature and the benefits that it provides to people are the foundation of our global economy, our culture, and the overall human experience. We depend on clean air, water, food, medicine, energy, and building materials that nature provides, but these very ecosystems are threatened or already in decline. Maintaining nature for the benefit of current and future generations is one of humanity’s greatest challenges. Deploying technology to support this global effort is one of ours.
Microsoft’s new biodiversity initiative is multi-faceted. Perhaps most importantly, it aims to put data and digital technology to work, including through an ambitious program to aggregate environmental data from around the world and put it to work in a new “Planetary Computer.” We will combine this with new work to enable partners and customers to use the resulting output to enhance environmental decision-making in their organizational activities. We’ll also use it to speak out on ecosystem-related public policy issues and take responsibility for Microsoft’s own land footprint.