Big tech and its carbon promise

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(Reuters) – Microsoft Corp said Thursday it would remove as much carbon from the atmosphere as the company had ever produced. Together with US technology giants, we are setting ambitious goals for combating climate change.

Below is a snapshot of the promises and successes that US West Coast technology companies have made in the region:


Microsoft said it would be CO2 negative by 2030 and hopes to have enough CO2 bound by 2050 to account for all of the direct emissions the company has ever caused.

The manufacturer of the Windows operating system announced that it would fund the program with an internal CO2 fee and that its new climate innovation fund would invest $ 1 billion in new technologies over the next four years to reduce its carbon footprint.

Microsoft expects to generate 16 million tons of CO2 by 2020, including indirect emissions from activities such as business travel.


The iPhone manufacturer announced in March last year that it has reduced CO2 emissions by 64% since 2011, preventing 2.8 million tons of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere.

The company has also doubled the number of suppliers using only clean energy for production and is on track to add 4 gigawatts of renewable energy to the electricity consumed in its supply chain by 2020.

In December, Apple bought the first commercial batch of carbon-free aluminum to be used for Apple products from a joint venture between aluminum suppliers Alcoa Corp and Rio Tinto.

Apple’s global facilities, including retail stores, offices and data centers in 43 countries, use 100% renewable energy, it said in 2018.


Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive officer, has pledged to make the e-commerce giant climate neutral by 2040 and to buy 100,000 electric vans from U.S. start-up Rivian.

Reducing emissions is a challenging goal for Amazon, which delivers around 10 billion items annually and has enormous transport and data center space.

In September, Bezos announced that Amazon would consume 100% clean electricity by 2030 instead of 40%.


Alphabet Inc.’s Google has promised to neutralize CO2 emissions from the delivery of consumer goods by 2020 and include recycled plastic in each of its products by 2022.

The search giant announced in August that transportation-related CO2 emissions per unit were down 40% in 2018 compared to 2017, as more ships than planes were used to transport hardware from factories.

In September, the company announced that it had reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 3.7 million tons to 750,000 tons of CO2 in 2018. The company said it has reduced CO2 emissions by 52% since 2011.

Google bought enough renewable energy to cover 100% of its worldwide annual electricity consumption in 2017 and 2018, it said last year.


Facebook Inc said last year it was committed to reducing its greenhouse gas footprint by 75% compared to 2017 next year and to use 100% renewable energy in 2020.

A report from the social network shows that it has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 23% in the four years since 2014 to 339,000 tons.

(Reporting by Amal S in Bengaluru)


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