Sustainability LIVE: Net Zero – Microsoft Executive Keynote

Christoph Schenek, Go-to-Market Lead Sustainability at Microsoft discusses building a more sustainable and digital future at Sustainability LIVE: Net Zero

Taking to the stage at Sustainability LIVE: Net Zero, Christoph Schenek, Go-to-Market Lead Sustainability at Microsoft discussed sustainability targets and initiatives, customer engagement and AI’s role in sustainability.

Microsoft’s sustainability targets and initiatives

Beginning his keynote by discussing the importance of addressing sustainability challenges through collaboration between public and private sectors, Christoph breaks down the technology giant’s corporate strategy emphasising the focus on sustainability across three dimensions – internal operations, customer engagement, and global sustainability programs.

"It's really all about the collaboration between public and private sectors in addressing the sustainability challenges we face today,” says Christoph.

Mentioning notable sustainability targets for Microsoft including carbon neutrality and water positivity goals by 2030 – particularly in Germany – Christoph emphasises the significance of addressing Scope 3 emissions and biodiversity concerns. 

"Our goal is to be carbon negative by 2030, and we've set ambitious targets for water positivity and zero waste as well. We're not just focused on carbon reduction; we're also looking at water management and biodiversity preservation as critical aspects of our sustainability efforts," says Christoph.

Christoph Schenek, Go-to-Market Lead Sustainability at Microsoft

Engagement with customers

With Microsoft’s efforts extending beyond carbon reduction – incorporating water management and biodiversity preservation to name a few – Christoph discusses the company’s engagement with Microsoft and the importance of digital tools for sustainability reporting and compliance, as well as the need for collaboration between sustainability and IT teams.

"We work closely with our customers, particularly here in Germany, to provide them with digital tools for sustainability reporting and compliance. Collaboration between sustainability and IT teams is essential, and that's where our portfolio of Cloud for Sustainability Solutions comes into play," says Christoph.

The role of AI in sustainability

Microsoft has an extensive use of AI in its approach to sustainability, including its application in predicting complex systems, decarbonising grids, and supporting sustainability reporting.

Christoph does, however, address concerns about AI’s sustainability implications emphasising the need for ongoing research and innovation:

"AI can play a crucial role in sustainability efforts, from predicting complex systems to decarbonising grids and supporting sustainability reporting. While AI presents opportunities, we also need to be mindful of its sustainability implications and continue to innovate responsibly."

Christoph Schenek, Go-to-Market Lead Sustainability at Microsoft

More to come in 2024…

Sustainability Magazine will be hosting a further five events in 2024, both virtual and in-person. Don’t miss out on your chance to hear from leading industry experts at:

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Essential diary dates – 2025

  • Net Zero & Scope 3 LIVE 2025 | QEII Centre, London | 5-6 March 2025
  • Sustainability Singapore Virtual Conference | 19 March 2025
  • Sustainability Dubai Virtual Conference | 23 May 2025
  • Sustainability LIVE Chicago and Procurement & Supply Chain LIVE Chicago | 4-5 June
  • Sustainability LIVE & Sustainability Awards 2025 | BDC, London | 9-10 September 2025
  • NEW | ClimateTech Magazine


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