Microsoft, one of the world’s largest technology companies, has joined the European Corporate Leaders Group (CLG Europe) convened in support of a climate neutral economy. The move by Microsoft comes at a pivotal time for European climate politics as the EU looks to strengthen the green core of its Recovery Package, pass legislation to ensure the bloc reaches net zero by 2050, and raise the ambition of its 2030 emissions target.

Vice President of European Government Affairs, Microsoft, Casper Klynge said: “Our collective mission towards reaching net zero emissions requires more collaboration and new approaches, in particular as we seek to achieve a green recovery from COVID-19. Technology companies have a key responsibility to empower more sustainable solutions while making the use of technology more sustainable. We’re thrilled to join the Corporate Leaders Group and to work alongside businesses that are sharing our climate ambition, jointly advocating for progressive public policy that supports Europe’s vision to become the world’s first climate-neutral continent.

In January this year Microsoft announced its commitment to being carbon negative by 2030 across its direct emissions and supply and value chains, and by 2050 remove from the environment all the carbon the company has emitted since it was founded in 1975. The company also announced a $1 billion Climate Innovation Fund to accelerate the development of carbon reduction and removal technologies. In addition to carbon, Microsoft has committed to being net zero waste by 2030 and to addressing its water footprint. Additionally, the company’s ecosystems plan aims to put data and digital technology to work through a programme to aggregate environmental data from around the world in a new “planetary computer”.

Director, CLG Europe, Eliot Whittington said: “Microsoft has set out a powerful climate leadership story with a clear-sighted vision of a carbon neutral future for the company as part of a wider net zero economy. I’m pleased to welcome Microsoft into CLG Europe and look forward to working with them to champion action on net zero technology and digitisation across the EU.

CLG Europe is a cross-sectoral group of influential European businesses working towards delivering climate neutrality. Microsoft joins existing members of CLG Europe: ACCIONA, Coca Cola European Partners, DSM, EDF, Iberdrola, Interface, ROCKWOOL, Salesforce, Signify, Sky, Stora Enso and Unilever.