ENCOURAGING BUSINESSES TO BECOME MORE SUSTAINABLE: AN IT CORPORATION’S EXPERIENCE

ENCOURAGING BUSINESSES TO BECOME MORE SUSTAINABLE: AN IT CORPORATION’S EXPERIENCE

4 MIN READ, JULY 22, 2021
4 MIN READ, JULY 22, 2021
Marc Gigon
Industry Digital Director,
Microsoft

Marc has been one of the key speakers who ‘opened’ EMERGE 2021. Together with Sebastien Toupy, Advisor at Greentech Alliance, and Lubomila Jordanova, Co-founder & CEO of Plan A, on the conference’s MAIN STAGE Marc Gigon shared his insights on making business sustainable. On the sidelines of the conference, we talked to Marc, wishing to know more about his vision and to find out how Microsoft, one of EMERGE 2021 partners, helps his clients make their businesses more ECO.
Could you tell us more about your flow with Microsoft partners? Do you reach out to them in order to offer your help in transforming business to a sustainable path?
We have a dedicated organization that supports our partner network, including ISVs (Independent Software Vendors) or GSI (Global System Integrators). As we have the mission to enable everyone to achieve more, we are always very responsive when a partner asks for support. To help partners grow and succeed, Microsoft invests in them — the resources, programs, and tools we offer help them skill teams, build innovative solutions, differentiate in the marketplace, and connect with customers. Microsoft's IP Co-Sell initiative offers eligible partners the unique opportunity to reach more customers and accelerate revenue through Azure Marketplace and AppSource, Microsoft's cloud storefronts.
How do your partners start this process of transformation?
The first step is always to review the mission of the company, see how it fits with sustainable goals – and which ones. Then measuring emissions on the different scopes comes next. We can help all along the way with namely the capabilities of our consulting arm, MCS (Microsoft Consulting Services).
What do you believe are the main things that major IT businesses have to change now?
They have a lot on their plate indeed, starting by reducing the emissions on their scope 1,2 and 3 but also supporting their client to reduce their own emissions and finance innovation to meet the ambitious goals set by the different COP (Conference of the Parties). Hyperscalers have a global footprint and a large share of voice that they must use for good.

Green software development is becoming an important priority. Data centers around the world currently account for 1% of global electricity demand, and are projected to consume 3-8% in the next decade. In May Microsoft together with Accenture, GitHub, and ThoughtWorks launched the Green Software Foundation with the Linux Foundation to build a trusted ecosystem of people, standards, tooling and leading practices for building green software. Microsoft has also tested hydrogen fuel cells for backup power at its data centers, as scientists have already proved that hydrogen fuel cells can be used to generate greenhouse gas-free energy from the most abundant element in the universe.

What does your project of collecting a database on sustainability issues look like?
We do not know enough about species, biodiversity and ecosystems that are vital to our health and prosperity. Just understanding where the world’s forest, fields and waterways are remains a complicated task of environmental accounting. Understanding what ecosystems are natural to certain species or why they thrive or decline is largely unknown. We simply can’t solve a problem we don’t fully understand. Planetary Computer would provide insights into critical questions that scientists, conservation organizations and businesses already ask every day, often with no easy way to obtain a locally relevant answer. For example, understanding tree density, land use and size of forests has implications for biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation; forecasts of water availability and flood risks to make educated guesses about land management; measuring and managing natural resources that sequester carbon, like trees, grasslands, and soil; and more. The project is now live with already petabytes of environmental data available.
What would you recommend to tech startups and corps to focus on to become sustainable?
I would suggest starting with your mission, to evaluate how sustainable goals fit to it. Then I would check with your major stockholders, clients and investors about what their asks are.
ANASTASIA ZYRIANOVA
Program Director & PR, EMERGE
Passionate for deep tech, VC and smart events. Aspiring filmmaker, harpist and yogi.
RECOMMENDED POSTS