Having an environmental conscience is something all major organizations are striving for. Most have concrete commitments to reduce their carbon or even become carbon negative in the coming decades. A report looking at the climate promises of 55 major corporations shows that Microsoft's pledges are the best.
As You Sow conducts research and grades major brands by market cap across a range of environmental metrics that align with the Paris Agreement climate accord. Microsoft's goals are better than tech rivals like Google, Apple, and Amazon, but also other global companies. In fact, Microsoft is even ahead of perceived champions of green energy such as EV leader Tesla.
Most major companies are promising to become “net-zero” in terms of carbon (GHG Greenhouse gas) emissions across business operations. Timelines for those goals vary from org to org, whether through using tech innovation, reducing waste, getting green credits, of a combination of all those options.
Microsoft has gone further than its rivals by setting up a major operation that is solely focused on achieving its environment/carbon commitments. Not only is the company aiming for net-zero across operations, it also plans to atone for all emissions it has ever released since Microsoft was founded.
This and other factors mean As You Sow gave Microsoft an A grade in its scoring, one of only two companies to achieve the top score (the other being food heavyweight PepsiCo). Alphabet, the company behind Google, managed a B grade, while Apple took a B-.
Facebook parent Meta Platforms did not fair so well, getting a low D grade. Tesla, the EV champion with lofty pledges but not sufficient see through on those goals, was bottom of the pack with an F. I think that means a big fail on Tesla's part, especially considering it even fell below oil corporations like Exxon.
While the report is not entirely conclusive and does not suggest companies will miss their commitments or not, it does shine a spotlight on the issue of climate change. More specifically, it shames companies who are perhaps not doing enough, even though they claim they are. It seems Microsoft is one of the few major organizations that takes its green pledges seriously.
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