Microsoft joins European Corporate Leaders Group

Microsoft has joined the European Corporate Leaders Group (CLG Europe) to lobby for ambitious climate policy across the continent, with the European Union (EU) recently pushing for a carbon-neutrality goal.

Microsoft joins European Corporate Leaders Group

Earlier this year

Microsoft joins the likes of Coca Cola European Partners, Interface, Salesforce, Sky and Unilever in joining CLG Europe. The group has been vocal in its support for the formation of an alliance for a “green recovery” of the European economy that assists with the ongoing fight against the climate crisis.

Coordinated by Pascal Canfin, Chair of the Environment Committee at the European Parliament, the Green Recovery alliance consist of 180 political decision-makers from 11 countries, 79 cross-party MEPs from 17 Member States, 37 chief executives, 28 business associations representing 10 different sectors, trade union confederation representing members from 90 national trade union organisations and 10 trade union federations, seven NGOs and six think tanks.

The alliance commits signatories to work collaboratively to create and deliver bespoke post-crisis green investment packages to help the pan-European economy market recover, while also mobilising plans that place climate change mitigation and biodiversity at the heart of any stimulus plans.

Microsoft’s vice president of European government affairs 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.”

At a European level, the Green New Deal has recently been enshrined and includes a 50-55% emissions reduction target for 2030; a climate law to reach net-zero emissions by 2050; a transition fund worth €100bn and a series of new sector policies to ensure all industries are able to decarbonise. 

Microsoft’s climate plans are equally ambitious. Earlier this year, Microsoft unveiled a bold new plan to reduce its carbon impact to below net-zero by 2030, with an additional goal of removing carbon from the atmosphere that the company has emitted since it was founded in 1975.

Microsoft will reduce its emission by more than 50% across its entire business and supply chain by 2030 while investing to remove more carbon than it emits annually. Microsoft claims that this results in a carbon-negative impact as a business.

In addition to carbon, Microsoft has committed to being net-zero waste by 2030 and to addressing its water footprint.

CLG Europe’s director 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.” 

Matt Mace

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie