Martin Austwick



A Greener Journey to the Cloud

If you are looking to make the journey to the cloud and step away from having on premise infrastructure then you are certainly not alone.  The journey to the cloud is a big step for many businesses, and there are a vast array of reasons why you might be better off choosing to host your digital infrastructure on Microsoft Azure.

In some organisations Azure is chosen for its unparalleled AI and machine learning services, in others due to its interoperability with existing Microsoft technologies, and for some it's just a question of scale on infrastructure. However, there's another reason to chose Azure that isn't spoken about nearly enough. This is something that is not only very close to my heart personally, but also that of Wirehive as an organisation.



Sustainability in the corporate world is the ability of an organisation to carry on their business without causing a negative impact on the environment.

And in this as in many other things Microsoft is a global leader.

As an organisation, they are effectively carbon neutral.  Which is a huge achievement in itself, but it isn’t even close to all that they are doing to mitigate the impact that they have on the world around us.

Out of all the cloud providers across the world, the one with the biggest infrastructure is Microsoft.  They have over a hundred data centres in fifty regions.  They have dedicated manufacturing plants across the world, they run offices in a huge number of countries, they have their own retail centres, and their HQ in Redmond, Washington State is over 260 acres in size.   It is safe to say that even without looking at the amount of air travel their employees carry out every year they have a vast carbon footprint.

To deal with this they have created an innovative solution.


Microsoft's Carbon Price System

First and foremost they have ensured reducing their environmental footprint is given the highest of priorities with the appointment of a Senior Director of Environmental Sustainability - Tamara “TJ” DiCaprio. Her job is to ensure that the planet is a better place for having Microsoft in it.  She does this by means of a carbon price system.

In a nutshell their system involves working out their carbon emissions, subtracting the carbon reduction programs they run in order to calculate their net carbon emissions and then allocating an overall price to these net carbon emissions.

This number is then used to calculate a specific financial cost of offsetting the impact of each aspect of work carried out by every division of the company.  This allows them to set a price on activities that generate carbon, instead of simply referring to it by weight.  For every activity that generates carbon, the company sets aside funds in order to negate the negative effect.

The end result of this is that Microsoft pours a huge amount of money into projects that improve the environment we all share.  I thought it might be nice to take a look at some of them.


Washington State

Money from Microsoft’s carbon offset programme allowed the Nisqually Land Trust in Washington State to purchase a 520 acre forest in order to remove it from the industrial forestry programme it was previously part of.  This will allow the trees to grow to maturity, and remove more carbon from the atmosphere through photosynthesis.  This one action alone is the equivalent of removing 6000 cars from the road, and as the trees grow, so will the effect they have on the environment.


It’s not just in America though.

In Indonesian Borneo, money from Microsoft’s carbon offset scheme has gone to securing the future of Rimba Raya, a 100,000 acre biodiversity reserve.  This whole area was originally destined to be converted to palm oil plantations, but is now a thriving forest that is home to a growing colony of Orang Utans.  As well as simply providing funds, Microsoft are also supplying technology for the locals to use in order to make their work easier.


Microsoft are clearly doing a lot for the enviroment, but people aren’t being ignored.

They are running projects designed to improve quality of life in the poorest communities in the world as well as offsetting carbon costs.  They have a program that provides new and efficient cooking stoves for rural villagers in Eastern Kenya.  These modern stoves replace traditional charcoal burning clay stoves and not only use significantly less fuel (and thereby release less carbon into the atmosphere).  But they are safer, easier to use, and significantly improve the quality of life for those using them.


The fact is that when it comes to reducing the negative impact on our planet caused by business growth Microsoft is leading the way.

And so if you, like us, feel that it mitigating the damage we do to the environment is a good thing, then perhaps you should consider moving your digital infrastructure to the cloud, and that cloud should be Microsoft Azure.

If you'd like to find out more about how you can futureproof and grow your business by taking the first steps in your migration to the cloud.  And you'd like to do it in a what that makes a positive impact on the planet we all share, then why not get in touch and talk to one of our lovely staff about how we can help you manage your journey to the cloud.