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Azure sustainability

Help build a clean-energy future and make progress towards your sustainability and business goals.

Sustainable cloud infrastructure with a local impact

At Azure, we see sustainability and humanity’s response to climate change as one of the greatest challenges of our lifetime.

We believe it’s not too late to plan for a cleaner, greener future. We’ve committed to put sustainable technologies at the heart of our innovation – to make sure we are adapting and growing along with the planet with the lowest environmental impact.

Learn how you can join the global community committed to reducing energy use, transitioning to a more carbon-neutral grid, and promoting a greener future with sustainable and innovative technologies from Azure.

The carbon benefits of cloud computing

A 2018 study found that using the Microsoft Azure cloud platform can be up to 93 per cent more energy-efficient and up to 98 per cent more carbon efficient than on-premises solutions.

Evolving beyond an operational approach

Sustainability is often viewed from an operational point of view, with the environmental mission treated as a cost centre in the business, as a risk or compliance to be managed. But for Azure, data centres and sustainable cloud infrastructure are more than just business – they provide an incredible opportunity to give back to the communities where we operate.

Azure has committed to focus on four key areas of environmental impact to local communities – carbon, water, waste and ecosystems.


renewable energy by 2025

Water-positive by 2030

replenish more water than we consume by 2030


certification by 2030

Net zero

deforestation from new construction

Giving back to local communities

With sustainability at the core of Microsoft’s business, we’ve extended our goals for environmental sustainability beyond just how we operate data centres. We’re actively engaged in over 40 projects around the world to help make a local impact and improve environmental outcomes.

Here are some examples:

Optimising water use

Using smart water meters to help mitigate a water crisis in South Africa regional hospitals


Greening communities with native woodlands in Ireland

Improving communal water quality and availability

Restoring natural habitats for beavers in central Washington state, US

Urban area forestry

Planting trees and promoting stewardship in Des Moines, Iowa, US

Promoting energy efficiency

Community engagement project to improve energy efficiency and energy savings at Irish college

Partnering with renewable energy projects

Preparing skilled workers to take advantage of solar jobs at universities in the state of Virginia, US

Exploring energy innovations for the next generation of sustainable cloud technology

Liquid immersion cooling

Learn how new server cooling methods can help minimise the environmental impact of physical data centres – reducing energy use while providing higher processing power and helping to eliminate water consumption.

Grid-interactive UPS batteries

Find out how small steps such as implementing grid-interactive UPS batteries – together with adding capacity and reducing the demand on the grid – can make a big difference to help us meet our sustainability goals and reduce our carbon footprint.

Clean fuels for power backup

See how a switch from traditional diesel to less-carbon-intensive fuels to run data centre backup generators helps to reach net-zero carbon emissions.

See how customers are innovating with sustainable Azure solutions

Energy pioneer Bee'ah drives sustainable management

With ventures in industries ranging from waste management and environmental consulting to renewable energy, technology, sustainable transport, and training and development, the pioneering United Arab Emirates (UAE) company, Bee’ah, has set new benchmarks in sustainable innovation in the Middle East region.


Food safety leader lowers costs and consumption of resources

"The key thing is sustainability—AI is a gamechanger, and we are embedding it in innovative, groundbreaking digital solutions that help our customers meet their sustainability targets as well as deliver real business value."

Stuart Bashford, Digital Officer, Bühler Group

Johnson Controls changes energy use with edge devices

"We knew that if we could bring those digital controls that were typically on-premises to the cloud, we could extend them out to consumer devices like smartphones."

Joseph Ribbich, Program Lead, GLAS and Emerging Technologies at Johnson Controls
Johnson Controls

Frequently asked questions

  • Renewable energy is energy that is collected from renewable resources, which are naturally replenished on a human time scale, such as solar energy, wind power, hydroelectric power, geothermal energy, tidal power and biofuels. By 2025, Azure will shift to 100 per cent supply of renewable energy, meaning that we will have power purchase agreements (PPA) for green energy contracted for 100 per cent of carbon-emitting electricity consumed by all our data centres, buildings and campuses.
  • Azure, as a part of Microsoft, has been 100 per cent carbon neutral since 2012. This means we are removing as much carbon each year as we emit, either by carbon removal (carbon offsetting) or reducing carbon emissions.
  • This means that by 2030, we want to remove more carbon each year than we emit. By 2050, our goal is to remove all of our historical carbon emitted – either directly or by electrical consumption – since Microsoft was founded in 1975.

Get started on your goals with sustainable cloud infrastructure – try Azure for free