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Empowering organizations on the path to sustainability with Microsoft Cloud

Inspire 2021, Microsoft's largest partner event of the year, where future direction, product updates and new technology solutions are unveiled, provided partners with the opportunity to attend a number of educational sessions where they learned about Microsoft's roadmap for the upcoming year, network and build connections, share best practices, and experience the latest product innovations.The conference was held virtually in 2020 and again in July 2021, and the Kin + Carta team attended to discover, connect, and, most importantly, learn.

This year in his opening keynote at Inspire, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella made an exciting announcement about Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability. The new solution is a set of tooling and processes that runs on Microsoft Azure as well as hybrid and multi-cloud environments. The technology offers a centralized means of measuring, understanding, and making informed decisions about carbon emissions. Further, it allows companies to set and track sustainability goals and take measurable actions.

Kin + Carta’s Azure Architect, Nick Woodley, considers the announcement for Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability to be “world changing.” Check out what he and other members of our team had to say about sustainability and Microsoft’s exciting new solution.

Cameron's key takeaways

Sustainability can take on a couple of different meanings. One that is the most familiar is around environmental sustainability and adhering to policy but there is also technical sustainability that becomes particularly important with cloud environments. We have seen tremendous growth over the last decade or so, particularly in the data space. Often that kind of growth can result in approaches that may work in the short term but are not effectively sustainable in the long run. Technical sustainability is building systems that are both maintainable and serviceable over the long term, from a financial as well as technical standpoint.

Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability aligns corporate objectives in both environmental and technical sustainability. It also unites the organization all the way to the board level because we have real time and quantitative insights into key metrics around sustainability. Further, these metrics can be measured longitudinally and compared across departments, across companies and even across industries. These capabilities have not existed until now, and at Kin + Carta, we’re expecting to see major shifts in the business significance of sustainability as a result.

Paul's key takeaways

Data aggregation is one of my big takeaways from the conference, along with transparency. Boardrooms are just starting to prioritize sustainability, and we are at the “haphazard collection of spreadsheets” phase common to new strategic capabilities. Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability supports the boardroom priority in a sophisticated and highly useful way. The management dashboard can be configured to report on the most important metrics to the company, even to the industry, in real time. We can help our clients aggregate their sustainability data, reduce ambiguity and make the results actionable.

Companies that adopt Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability will be able to publish and share their data with each other. They will speak the same language, so to speak, and that level of transparency can create breakthroughs.

Nick's key takeaways

Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability is world changing. Among a number of high value capabilities, it allows a company to track carbon effect and monetary consumption for every resource. As one example, depending on how you decide to store your data, you will get a different carbon effect. You can score your data and determine its value to the business in the context of that carbon effect. This can be done for every technology asset, which will allow CIOs to measure and manage IT sustainability.

The most exciting aspect of Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability, for me, is that it is ready to use right now. This wasn’t an announcement about a future release. It isn’t vaporware. It’s ready to implement today. This in turn means that Kin + Carta is able to work with our clients immediately to add this capability to their cloud environments and start getting benefits right away.

Scott's key takeways

Every single client that I talk to either has sustainability as one of their corporate goals, or is keenly aware of the need to understand and mitigate the carbon footprint of their compute assets. You can install the Microsoft Sustainability Calculator right now and start tracking your carbon footprint. One really nice feature of the calculator is that it will calculate Scope 3 emissions as well. These are indirect carbon sources that are involved in the extraction of the raw materials for computers and the manufacturing and shipping of them. The Scope 3 carbon costs can often be larger than the direct costs. The Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability will only expand and improve the work that has been done so far and we are very excited to bring this functionality to our clients so that they can see the complete benefits of moving to the cloud.

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