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Microsoft 2024 Partners of the Year: Where Sustainability Services Fit In

July 2, 2024 by Joe Panettieri

The 2024 Microsoft Partner of the Year Awards honored dozens of business and technology partners worldwide -- including a handful of partners focused on sustainability, carbon reduction and net-zero business strategies.

On the global front, Microsoft named EY United States as its Sustainability Changemaker of the year. EY, leveraging Microsoft technology, has assisted more than 100 customers with their decarbonization strategies and EST goals, the companies said. EY (Ernst & Young) is growing its sustainability consulting services both organically and through acquisitions. For example, EY acquired Denkstatt -- a sustainability and ESG consulting firm that serves customers in Austria and across Europe -- in April 2024.

Microsoft 2024 Partners of the Year: Sustainability Changemaker Finalists

Take a closer look at the 2024 Microsoft Partner of the Year awards, and you'll notice multiple runner-up honorees (aka Sustainability Changemaker Finalists). They included:

1. BDO Digital, founded in 1921, is based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The company developed data and analytics-based solutions that are helping clients improve ESG reporting and achieve their sustainability goals. BDO Digital has more than 5,000 employees.

2. Fellowmind Company BC, founded in 2019, is based in Amersfoort, the Netherlands. The company formed through the combination of 12 Microsoft partners. For 2024, Microsoft honored Fellowmind for its work assisting OSTP, a Nordic company, with a path toward net-zero emissions. In 2023, Fellowmind became one of Europe's first partners and customers to implement Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability.

3. Kin+Carta, founded in 1964, is based in London, United Kingdom. The company has roughly 2,000 employees. Key focus areas include business applications such as Microsoft Dynamics 365; cloud migration and modernization services that run on Microsoft Azure; application modernization services and DevOps capabilities; and data and artificial intelligence (AI) expertise.

Partner Ecosystems: More Sustainability, Energy Efficiency Expertise

Poke around the country and region winners, and you'll notice several partners that align sustainability with their IT services. Examples include Avaelgo's Crop360 solution (Romania); Capgemini Netherlands (Netherlands); Cluster Replay (Italy) and Fellowmind Finland (Finland).

In the Energy and Resources category, Microsoft mentions Cognite Data Fusion as a Microsoft Azure solution that can "enables simple access to complex industrial data and digital twin capabilities, increasing by 10 times the efficiency of industrial workflows." Finalists in the Energy and Resources category included Kongsberg Digital, Schneider Electric, and Accenture and Avanade.

Despite those signs of progress, sustainability represents a small slice of Microsoft's partner emphasis at the moment. The anecdotal evidence: Carbon reduction was mentioned only twice in Microsoft's 2024 Partners of the Year report, which spanned 55 pages.

Still, it's a relatively safe bet that Microsoft partners will increasingly focus on sustainability. For instance, roughly 50% of channel partners worldwide said that they expect to generate revenue from sustainability solutions in 2024 – up three percentage points from 47% in 2023, according to research firm Canalys.

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