Report finds Microsoft’s climate action conflicts with its commitments as emissions increase 46% since 2020

February 21, 2024
Company’s growing emission problem is directly tied to its suppliers

SAN FRANCISCO (Chochenyo and Karkin Ohlone Lands) — A new report released today by environmental advocacy group find that Microsoft, one of the world’s most valuable and influential technology companies, lacks meaningful action to shift its manufacturing supply chain away from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy, despite making strong climate commitments in years past.

The report, titled Ctrl-Alt-Incomplete: The Gaps in Microsoft’s Climate Leadership, finds that Microsoft’s high-profile pledges to cut emissions have amounted to little, and its current supply chain decarbonization commitments fall short of the standards set by its competitor, Apple.

The IT sector – accountable for 4% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and rapidly rising – is under increasing pressure to make its reputation for innovation and leadership show up in its decarbonization strategies. Given that the majority of GHG emissions occur at the manufacturing and production stages, transitioning Microsoft’s suppliers to renewable energy is critical, and working collaboratively with each other and with suppliers to scale up renewable energy procurement across value chains will be key to these efforts, particularly in semiconductor manufacturing processes.

“Microsoft’s business model has long been to outsource their manufacturing, but they don’t get to outsource their responsibility for the climate and air pollution caused by the fossil fuels powering the factories making their products. Rather than rely on false solutions like carbon offsets, Microsoft needs to follow the lead of companies like Apple and Ikea, who are helping to move their suppliers to renewable energy,” said Global Climate Policy Director Gary Cook.

The report surfaced several critical gaps in Microsoft’s decarbonization efforts, including the following:

  • Rapidly Increasing Climate Pollution: Since its 2020 pledge to be “Carbon Negative by 2030,” Microsoft’s publicly reported overall emissions have increased by 46%.
  • Escalating Supply Chain Emissions: Operational emissions from the majority of Microsoft’s key suppliers are on the rise. But none of them has set a climate target that meets Microsoft’s requirement to cut their emissions by 55%.
  • Limited Use of Renewable Energy within Supply Chain: Unlike Apple, its key competitor, Microsoft has not committed to powering its manufacturing with clean, renewable electricity. As a result, Microsoft’s key suppliers heavily rely on fossil fuels for electricity. Electricity from power purchase agreements (PPAs), which is likely to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, only accounts for 1% of electricity consumption of suppliers. And seven out of 10 suppliers have reported the use of problematic unbundled renewable energy certificates (RECs).

The report also profiles Microsoft’s 10 key suppliers individually, with each fact sheet including a brief company profile, climate and renewable energy targets, and current renewable energy usage.

“Microsoft’s growing emission problem is directly tied to the company’s suppliers, who have yet to rise to the challenge of the unfolding climate crisis by setting firm commitments to reduce emissions. Instead of investing in lasting renewable energy solutions, Microsoft’s suppliers continue to rely on coal and other fossil fuels to power their operations. Microsoft needs to send clear signals to their suppliers that they want their products to be made with renewable energy, and are willing to work collaboratively to help them make this transition off fossil fuels by 2030,” said Global Climate Policy Director Gary Cook.

The release of the Ctrl-Alt-Incomplete report follows the 2022 IT Scorecard, published jointly by Greenpeace East Asia and, which finds supply chains for global tech brands are still fueled primarily by coal, gas, and oil.


Media contact: 

Shane Reese, Corporate Campaigns Media Director,, +1 919 339 3785 (Eastern Time)