Steve: Hey everybody, welcome back to 3N3. This episode is all about sustainability and we’re very fortunate to have a very special guest, Alistair Speirs, who is the Director of Platform Marketing with Microsoft, so let’s jump right in.
Alright well thanks Alistair for joining us. We really appreciate you taking the time. So, I guess the first question is who are you and what’s your role within Microsoft as it relates to sustainability?
Alistair: Well, as part of the Azure team, my team works closely with our engineers on what we call the platform of our global infrastructure. Typically, when we talk about infrastructure in the cloud, we’re talking about virtual machines and infrastructure as a service. But its very much physical. We’re looking at the data center infrastructure topics, compliance around where we’re locating our data centers, reliability of those physical infrastructure assets, crisis communications. And because our data center is such a huge user of energy, we also look at the sustainability of our data centers as well.
Steve: That’s excellent. So, it sounds like a big job and its’ a really important topic. And again thank you for joining us today.
So, the second question I would have is, Microsoft has made obviously a big splash about this, we’ve seen a lot of news about this. So, what’s behind this initiative around sustainability with Microsoft?
Alistair: Yeah that’s a great question. I think we really see that climate change is a crisis and it’s one of the greatest challenges of our lifetime. It’s going to affect food, water, economies, and communities around the world, but at the same time it’s not too late for us all to take action. Even in this COVID-19 situation where a lot of us are thinking about how do we rebuild? What does the future look like? It’s a great time for us to think about a sustainable future that everyone can survive in and also thrive in as well. And for that, as a technology company, we really believe in the power of technology to make this difference here so that we can better understand what’s happening, we can respond by making changes, we can adapt and grow along with the planet and do it in a more sustainable manner as well.
Steve: Obviously I think everybody realizes just how important of a topic and initiative this is and that we can all play a part in this and it’s really exciting to see Microsoft really leading in this space. So, I guess the third question would be how is Microsoft tackling [sustainability] today?
Alistair: Yeah, we’ve been doing this for a while. So, since 2012 we’ve been carbon neutral in our operations but what’s changed recently is we’re really making this a core part of business and really helping harness that power of technology to help all of our businesses build that sustainable future. We’ve been focusing on our own operations and we’ll continue to do that, operate our business as efficiently as possible. But more and more we’re seeing other opportunities as well.
For instance, we’re just moving sustainability front and center into how we build our own products and services. We’re adding new features to existing products that can help our customers and partners better understand their own environmental impact, manage it and help transform their businesses. And then from our policy side, we’re working with a lot of others around the world to remove roadblocks, increase incentives to help incent all of us to move more quickly in this sustainability front as well.
Steve: That’s excellent. There’s a lot of work to be done here. This is a really important topic and I actually have more questions for you. So I’m hoping you’ll stick around for another episode. But for those of you that want more information you can always go to our website at valorereply.com and also check out microsoft.com/sustainability.
Thanks a lot Alistair, we really appreciate it and we hope to see you next time as well as the rest of our audience. See ya!