Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability: Generative AI, Scope 3 Data Capabilities for ESG Reporting Coming Soon
January 31, 2024 by Joe Panettieri
Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability will gain generative AI (artificial intelligence) capabilities for ESG (environmental, social and governance) reporting as part of a software update that's expected sometime between April 2024 and September 2024, the company has disclosed.
First, the big picture: Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability involves a "growing set of ESG capabilities from Microsoft and our global partners, empowering organizations to accelerate sustainability progress and business growth," the company asserts.
Key offerings include Microsoft Sustainability Manager, a tool that "unifies data to help you monitor and manage your environmental sustainability performance," the company says.
Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability: Copilot, Scope 3 Reporting Capabilities
LLM (Large Language Model) experiences through Microsoft Copilot for Sustainability. Microsoft Copilot is the company's "AI companion" for everyday use cases.
A push to make the ESG value chain solution generally available. That solution enables users to "gather data directly from your value chain partners and use that data to calculate your scope 3 emissions."
Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability: Why Technology Partners Should Care
The Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability enhancements could help partners and customers to more easily address compliance mandates worldwide.
For example: Under the European Union's Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), roughly 50,000 companies are subject to mandatory sustainability reporting. The figure includes non-EU companies that have subsidiaries operating within the EU or are listed on EU regulated markets, KPMG notes. For companies with the year-ending December 2024, the first CSRD reports will be due in 2025.
Scope 1 involves emissions from sources that an organization owns or controls directly – for example from burning fuel in our fleet of vehicles.
Scope 2 involves emissions that a company causes indirectly when the energy it purchases and uses is produced. For example, if a company has a fleet electric vehicles, then the emissions from the generation of the electricity they're powered by would fall into this category, according to National Grid.
Scope 3 involves emissions up and down a company's value chain.