HomeWinBuzzer NewsMicrosoft´s AI Expansion Drives Up its Carbon Footprint Nearly 30 %

Microsoft´s AI Expansion Drives Up its Carbon Footprint Nearly 30 %

Microsoft's latest sustainability report reveals that its carbon footprint has grown substantially.


's pursuit of artificial intelligence is causing a significant rise in its carbon emissions, complicating its climate commitments. The company's latest sustainability report reveals that its has grown nearly 30 %, largely due to the energy demands of AI technologies.

Microsoft's AI Ambitions Drive Up Carbon Emissions

Training and running AI models require substantial energy, and the environmental impact is becoming increasingly apparent. Microsoft's sustainability report serves as a case study for the challenges companies face as they balance climate pledges with the growing energy needs of AI.

In 2020, Microsoft committed to becoming carbon-negative by 2030 and partnered with CarbonCapture in 2023, an LA-based startup with a facility in Wyoming for storing carbon emissions, to stop it contributing to . This ambitious goal involves reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than half and capturing more carbon dioxide than it emits. The company also aims to increase the deployment of renewable energy across its operations.

Microsoft has invested over $13 billion in and is integrating features into its products, such as for Microsoft 365. According to Microsoft president Brad Smith, the energy requirements for AI have grown significantly, making the company's climate goals more challenging.

Rising Emissions

The sustainability report shows that Microsoft emitted 15.357 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in the last fiscal year, comparable to the annual emissions of countries like Haiti or Brunei. Data centers used for AI training are more energy-intensive than traditional ones, consuming large amounts of electricity for servers and cooling systems.

Microsoft plans to build more data centers to support its AI ambitions, with a projected expenditure of $50 billion over the past fiscal year. This figure is expected to increase in the coming year, further complicating the company's efforts to meet its climate targets.

Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus is the founder of WinBuzzer and has been playing with Windows and technology for more than 25 years. He is holding a Master´s degree in International Economics and previously worked as Lead Windows Expert for Softonic.com.