Listen: Microsoft plans to erase its entire carbon footprint since 1975
"Microsoft announced that they plan to fight climate change with the gold becoming better than carbon neutral by two thousand thirty and they WANNA retroactively offset all the countries emissions from its entire history by twenty fifty. You know how I've been telling you. Wall Street subway cares about sustainability. Well I think that's part of the reason why mcso Stock Rally Free Bucks today. The Times they are changing cubs great track records investors a fortune in recent years so they now have the leeway to take a stand so a few moments ago. I sat down with great Sachin Adela. He's the bankable CEO of Microsoft in his first ever appearance on the show. Take a look so real reminding okay and we gotta talk about because this is a day where you basically redefined this company and became what I think is the capitalist leader doing something. That's maybe more important than than just earning per share. You're doing impact per share. Why I what thank you for being so awesome to have you here on campus? You're absolutely right. It's a big day. A in fact it's I would say a big decade in front of all of us and today's start. What is I think about our mission to empower every person in every every organization on the planet to achieve more the fundamental thing is? Let's put more depth to what achieve more looks like for the world to who us. It means we need of course as a company we need to be able to drive brought economic growth but it's just on economic growth. But it's about really having that core inclusive growth trust in technology and all that we do should lead to a more sustainable work and so today's announcements were that last part which is commitments rear making by twenty thirty to become become carbon negative. Do we in fact go back in history all the way to our founding in nineteen seventy five look at all of our energy consumption from electricity and other sources and and make sure that we recapture that and of course. We're also know that it's not just about what we do. It's the ecosystem and the innovation. We need breakthrough so even putting a billion dollars in an innovation fund. So we're very excited. We know it's a small part quite frankly. All of us remember to do to achieve more but unless assured small out twenty fifty. If you don't do these things what does it mean for both the planet and of course for Microsoft I mean the signs that think at this point is very clear if the the temperatures rise I think the impact. It's going to have unless talk about the economy. The economy all enjoy or the capitalist system that we all arleen joy. I think we'll fundamentally jeopardy if the planet which is the resource the factor of production that has fueled all of our capital else capitalist. Society will be dangerous to me. That's the existential priority. And for us as a company for now it is all about making sure the commitments is the start off then ensuring that we are living up to those commitments. So I think it's really twenty thirty twenty fifty that we're looking forward to doing part your rigorous stanton. Your company is rigorous about numbers. This is the first time I've heard anybody lay out an actual let's say yardstick. That's hard and it's not just for your company but your suppliers and even for the users of your technology. How can you enforce it? And what does it mean when someone says you know what the we're not playing ball look. This is not the first time we've done these things first of all. You're absolutely right. We have to be rigorous and it's not about making commitments or making claims. It's about fall through so for example when be changed some of the benefit policies Just say that anybody who works at Microsoft even if they are a vendor will get yet the parental leave or sick leave. We had to pay for it from piano because we fully expected that the companies that are employing these these people are probably not going to be able to increase wages. So in some sense we have account. We've done our homework. We know what our emissions are in both on all the scope scope one one two and three and we feel that. We've had a bottoms up plan on how we go about it. We were one of the things that has really helped us is the carbon tax which we introduced multiple years physicals has built an internal rigor sort of speak on. What does it mean hard to actually have a way to think about an accounting for carbon and then go after it go a little bit bigger than carbon you care about other values including carbon artificial intelligence? Many of us are worried that it can be he used for harm. Not just for good. You're thinking about what technology will mean. I've been talking about tech intensity city ice here that and I say I'm concerned the text too intense and powerful you walk but largest coming and use the things you're thinking about first of well let's I'm an optimist. Technology can make a huge difference. I mean think about it. It's the most malleable resource that we as humans. I've ever found a software right and to think about. This is a factor of production that changes in a precision medicine. Precision agriculture feed every body body right or connected cars connected factories. I think that this is amazing. If the technology in terms of computing is getting embedded in the real world artificial intelligence for example. I mean think about what the state of the art of whether it's reinforcement learning or this what we call multi modal large scale model training. It's essentially helping US discover new knowledge. That is not possible even before. And I'll take somebody with disabilities today with breakthroughs in computer vision for someone with visual impairment. They can interpret the world. Someone with dyslexia can read because of what I can provide. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't be clear eyed about the unintended consequences of let's say technologically driven unemployment or bias in any algorithm and so we have to counter onto that so take bias first of all we as a software company a building tools. Just like how we build tools in order to ensure that people don't have security bugs in software. We should say if anybody what he believe in the model how can they D- by the model and by the way the team we've learned the best reader debiasi modest have a diverse team building it in the first place. He's suzy so smart. And you won't be able to track the diversity unless you do some things we're talking about at the same time that you're doing all these things. You are a competitor. Now you have different styles from your predecessor. Who was oh golden? Good friend of mine from college. You are a cerebral lead by example person. But you're also competitive and when and watch your National Retail Federation piece. You mentioned it's Walgreens. You mentioned Walmart starbucks. Those are three gigantic retailers. You're still you're in a titanic battle against another company to get those customers and you also offer value position that aws. Doesn't I care about that. Tell people I mean first of all. I think what's happening in retail. It's pretty exciting. I mean if you think about it everyone. Twenty nine thousand nine has sort of realized that. What retail is it's about Omni channel retail? So you need the physical stores you need the online presence but most importantly you got to connect the two things seamlessly one of the things that I talked about was what how Walmart is completely changed. The game came around. How they're doing delivery so you can order my groceries? I can start going to the store. It given the geofencing features their I o t Essentially inside the store wakes up. Make sure that things get back fresh and is really for delivery. So it's the best example Walmart taking their physical assets that digital digital capability and we're partnering with them. Same thing with Walgreens what they WANNA do. Even for chronic care management like diabetes or what marks and Spencers is done by essentially taking the store and making it a computer embedded computing. So this is one of the fascinating thing is people places and things are increasingly having digital twins this and since a digital infrastructure is more malleable. You can predict things. Automate things gain insights are like unprecedented raised. How'd you Guinea's Guinea's Azure when I saw you last? You made bold claims. I said at the time of how much money you could make with Azure. You've vastly exceeded them. Even as some of us were pleased. Who is this man? How did you see it? How did you know and how much of the future will be quite frankly? It's sort of the guy who gave me permission to do all this. Well Steve Bomber. If you think about it he wanted us to be bold and go at the cloud very aggressively. And that's what we did and one of the key things Jimmy did was. We didn't even think about azure separate from Microsoft three six five or dynamics three six five or now even xbox live or ex Ex Club we had a vision AFL Europe computing infrastructure structure and platform company. What is that next generation? We and by the way I was always grounded on the fact that it will be distributed computing infrastructure. It's the cloud doc and the edge for example. One of the fascinating. Things is is to talk about the edge. In fact I even started talking about the cloud and the edge probably four years ago and people say. What's he talking about except for now? It is conventional wisdom. That's what it takes. I think you have to have conviction on where the world is going. Make sure you bet long before anybody gives you credit credit for it and then of course execute and that's what we've done in every layer of the stack the infrastructure level platforms of service SAS layer. And that's that's what we're doing. Do you think that the marketplace will continue to pay as much as it does for your perfect execution for instance stop four hundred and ten percent return since as you start one point. Four trillion dollars will be some executives at major foreign firms funds. That say you know what I'm not going to buy that stock tears too much much about these things war will. The world changed so much that if you don't care about these mandates you're stock's GONNA go down. It's a great question. I mean you know you and I were talking before we got on the air which is You know there's this great book by Colin Mayor Called Prosperity and he talks about what is a corporation ration- and the corporations purpose is to find profitable solutions to the problems of people and planet. Okay profitable is the key would but problems is the other keyword for people and planet I so I think what happens is if you're creating a lot of profit and cree end creating more problems for for planet or people. I think it'll catch up with you so in some sense the way I look at it and say. Hey let's go after the core of what we're doing it's not about carrying about a funeral. Well things are shareholders. I always saying our shareholders are the ones who are giving US permission to be able to think about whether it is the affordable liberal housing order. That it's the carbon it's our shareholders who care as much about this as anyone else and they permission and therefore we are accountable to them to execute execute on these commitments. We make and that's good for business. It's interesting look twenty. Eight times earnings one of the highest both sort of the highest multiple for any of the plus one one hundred hundred billion companies because they want you to have that permission other issues in tech that use spoken about that are. Let's say on a hot griddle right now. Privacy Apple versus the Justice Department corporations upholding things. That aren't necessarily the constitution. There's nothing about privacy. Obviously the constitution sadly I think versus a government that is intrusive once again. We've got situation. Government wants coal you know. Coal government wants intrusion. Corporations corporations want privacy. Where do you come down these first of all? We're clear that both things matter here. The two things being privacy as a citizen as a user. I care deeply about privacy and as a citizen I also care about public safety right so both of these have been balanced and I think we have to come up with legislative mechanisms for that things like back doors and so on just bad ideas but like the cloud act which is a completely different carell. Today is actually a good first step in terms of having the legal framework for how we can in fact protect the privacy of anybody anybody who has data in the cloud and yet have the ability for any law enforcement agency to issue legal warrants. So we now have to have a technical technical and a legislative breakthrough around what is considered personal information. That's not in the cloud and so. I think that this is something that we will have to work out."