Microsoft names new Chief Sustainability Officer

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I’m delighted to share the information that Melanie Nakagawa will be part of Microsoft in January as our new Chief Sustainability Officer. Reporting on to me as a Company Vice President, Melanie will companion with groups throughout Microsoft and tackle the management position for our company-wide environmental sustainability work.

Melanie brings to Microsoft nearly 20 years of environmental sustainability expertise on the nexus of coverage, enterprise and know-how, which shall be very important as we proceed our sustainability journey. She most lately served as Particular Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Local weather and Power on the Nationwide Safety Council on the White Home, certainly one of a number of roles she has held within the U.S. authorities. On the White Home, Melanie performed a management position on worldwide and home local weather initiatives, in addition to power points that included the worldwide power response to the conflict in Ukraine.

Melanie Nakagawa

This constructed on Melanie’s prior work, together with because the director of local weather technique for a local weather tech-focused non-public fairness agency working with progress stage corporations in North America, Europe and Asia. She additionally brings expertise within the nonprofit and tutorial sectors on environmental and power coverage and regulatory points.

Melanie joins Microsoft at a important time. January will mark the third anniversary of our formidable local weather targets to be carbon unfavorable by 2030 and take away our historic carbon emissions by 2050. Whereas I’m happy with our progress, we should speed up our momentum and broaden even additional our climate-related work.

This urgency displays the present state of local weather points all over the world. As I discovered whereas assembly with world leaders final month on the United Nations COP27 local weather convention in Egypt, the world confronts a fancy and sobering problem. Because the United Nations Atmosphere Programme reported in October in its annual Emissions Gap report, present nationwide local weather plans fall brief of what is going to be wanted to fulfill the world’s local weather targets.

And as U.N. Secretary Normal António Guterres said at COP27, the “lethal impacts of local weather change are right here and now.” This implies the world should not solely push more durable towards the objective of a Web Zero economic system by the center of the century, however transfer shortly and aggressively, particularly within the World South, to assist weak populations adapt to a world with a modified local weather.

Given the enormity of those challenges, the pursuit of progress would require extraordinary innovation within the years and a long time forward.

And whereas each month appears to deliver new foreboding research, I additionally discovered trigger for optimism in Egypt. For instance, globally nearly 4,000 corporations have now devoted themselves to the pursuit of local weather pledges. And because the world focuses on the implementation of local weather pledges – a serious theme at COP27 – companies have an more and more necessary position to play. This was on daring show at COP27 as america’ Particular Presidential Envoy for Local weather, John Kerry, introduced that the First Movers Coalition, launched simply final 12 months with the World Financial Discussion board, had grown to 65 companies devoted to working and shifting collectively quicker.

Particularly for a corporation like Microsoft, with our deal with serving to the world’s organizations innovate by know-how, our climate-related position couldn’t be clearer. Cloud-based digital providers, the higher use of information, and speedy advances in AI will create new alternatives for us to assist each group obtain extra progress in addressing the world’s local weather and power wants.

This connects straight with the three-fold sustainability mission that we launched as an organization in September on the U.N. Normal Meeting conferences and that Melanie will now lead.

First, we are going to proceed to drive towards attaining by 2030 our commitments to turn into carbon unfavorable, water optimistic and nil waste as an organization whereas contributing to the biodiversity of the planet. The staff that Melanie leads contains environmental scientists of worldwide stature, and they’re going to assist hold Microsoft’s work grounded in one of the best accessible science. And greater than ever, the Environmental Sustainability operations staff will companion with Microsoft’s Finance staff and enterprise and sustainability specialists throughout the corporate to attain the corporate’s inner and operational targets.

All this may construct on current and necessary steps throughout Microsoft. These embody the development of a brand new Thermal Energy Center for our Redmond campus, the pursuit of a Web Zero water certification for our Silicon Valley campus, and our most up-to-date steps towards Zero Waste operations by the opening of our 4th and fifth Round Facilities in Singapore and Chicago. These complement our world renewable power investments for our datacenters and investments which have made Microsoft the largest carbon removal purchaser on this planet.

Second, we are going to speed up innovation and ship know-how to assist our prospects and companions obtain their sustainability targets. Like Lucas Joppa, our first Chief Environmental Officer, Melanie will work with me to deliver collectively leaders throughout Microsoft to work collectively and study from one another. The excellent news is that sustainability has turn into an necessary staff sport throughout Microsoft, with senior leaders in place for product growth, advertising and marketing and gross sales, together with Microsoft’s Elisabeth Brinton and Darryl Willis, who work hand in hand with our prospects and companions to rework their companies with our sustainability and power options. Every quarter we’re strengthening the Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability, including capabilities and investing within the next-generation, cloud-based sustainability information ecosystem the world wants. All this connects carefully with the broader array of improvements within the Microsoft Cloud and our personal local weather and renewable power improvements throughout one of many world’s largest arrays of datacenter operations.

Third, we are going to companion with governments, nonprofits, and companies to spur the broader societal enabling components important to world sustainability progress. This contains current and new initiatives that Melanie and her staff will lead to assist:

  • Broaden the usage of climate-related information and extra highly effective AI, together with by the United Nations and throughout the World South;
  • Advance new and modern local weather, power, and sustainability legal guidelines, insurance policies and rules;
  • Assist dependable, interoperable, and globally aligned measurement accounting and reporting methods for carbon emissions;
  • Construct new markets for local weather and sustainability options, together with by our Climate Innovation Fund and carbon elimination purchases; and
  • Assist develop and assist the talents and expertise wanted for each specialised sustainability roles, in addition to for current jobs that can evolve to require sustainability fluency.

These three sustainability missions are grounded in three tenets that can information our future sustainability work as an organization.

First, we imagine there’s a virtuous cycle connecting these three missions. Progress in every mission helps strengthen our capability to pursue the subsequent. On this sense, all three are interrelated and depending on one another.

Second, we imagine that cross-sector efforts shall be indispensable for sustainability progress. As with nearly all massive issues on this planet, we want a three-legged stool: enterprise, nonprofits and governments. We imagine that companies have a singular position to play in innovation, particularly in terms of local weather, power and digital know-how and product innovation. Nonprofits are sometimes one of the best at incubating new societal options, typically through the use of improvements that come from the enterprise sector. And governments can deliver options to scale in a means that nobody else can, each by their public budgets and the facility to legislate and regulate. Even in a divided world, the planet’s sustainability challenges require that all of us come collectively.

Lastly, throughout Microsoft (and the world, for that matter), environmental sustainability is turning into infused in nearly all the pieces we do, and our success requires navigating a matrix reasonably than managing a system of command and management. Melanie and the Environmental Sustainability staff she’s going to lead acts as a fulcrum throughout Microsoft, serving to to deliver everybody collectively and talking publicly for the corporate. That is just like the position that our company groups play in a wide range of different areas, together with accessibility, digital security, privateness, human rights and accountable AI. As we’ve discovered, the distinction between success and failure all the time activates our capability to work successfully as a staff throughout a big firm and with a fair bigger digital ecosystem.

It’s sometimes my position and privilege to assist empower, work with and assist proficient leaders throughout all these areas and extra. Not one of the points are simple. And the environmental sustainability challenges could even be more durable than most.

I’m excited that Melanie Nakagawa will assist lead so many proficient folks throughout our firm as we tackle the planet’s sustainability wants. And I stay up for supporting her!

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