TranscriptSteve: Hey everybody, welcome back to 3in3. I’ve got Alistair Speirs again with us here who’s the director of Platform Marketing for Microsoft. It’s such a huge topic around sustainability that I felt like we had to ask more questions and we may run a little bit long this time because it’s such an important topic, but hang with us. This is really, really good information and a really exciting topic. So let's jump right.


Alright Alistair, thanks again for joining us on this very important topic of sustainability. So, what is Marketing’s role in sustainability?


Alistair: As stewards of the business, there’s two things that really drive this. For one, it helps reduce our costs. It helps reduce the costs of operating our own services and it opens up new markets. So, as we look at the economic data and our long-range planning, we see a lot of interesting market opportunities and economic shifts over the long-term as well. Some studies have shown things like energy efficient technologies over the next eight years is potentially a 60 billion-dollar market opportunity.


Climate action is going to affect cities, it’s going to affect food production, land use, water, and other industries. So, there’s essentially a 26 trillion-dollar economy around sustainability over the next ten years. Then, the value for carbon emission offsets and the trading of carbon emissions could be worth 200 billion dollars over the next thirty years as well. So, these are massive opportunities for us to take advantage of.


Steve: Excellent. So, market opportunity is absolutely critical to incent businesses to invest in this area. The other side of this and the other question is how does sustainability reduce the cost of operations?


Alistair: So, quite simply, the cloud is more energy efficient. That’s what we’re seeing. Azure is a huge investment in our business and even internally we’ve migrated about 2,000 applications from on-premises to the cloud. So, what we found at Microsoft was that this significantly reduced our carbon emissions and gave us huge energy savings.


So, we set about doing some studies, understanding what other customers could see with some climate analysts and we found that transitioning from that classic enterprise data center approach to a cloud service like Microsoft Azure can save up to 98% of carbon emissions and up to 93% of our energy efficiency as well and that translates to money. That translates to better efficiency and economy of scale and better costs.


Steve: Yes, so, obviously if there’s a huge market opportunity and there’s a huge opportunity to reduce costs, it seems like a no-brainer that businesses should be looking at sustainability as a way to drive more business, but also reduce their costs of operations.


So, last question that I have is how is Microsoft going about improving [sustainability in] its products and services?


Alistair: Yeah, so there’s a couple of things that we did internally that really helped incent the right behavior. We essentially imposed, our finance team imposed, an internal carbon tax on all of our operations, whether that was travel for our sales team, our engineering assets, building space, all those sorts of things. This carbon tax went on essentially into a carbon fund and that’s funded a lot of innovation projects for us like our AI for earth program, smart building projects, and other things as well.


So, this has been an effective way for us to enforce monitoring and forecasting of emissions just like we do dollar spend. It makes it much easier to report on these things as well and it helps us kind of future proof these operations as well. So, this approach of tracking, monitoring, and then modeling our carbon emissions is really built into our operations now and that helps all of our products going forward.


Steve: Wow. Microsoft has always been an innovative company and this is no exception where they’re innovating in the ways to drive sustainability throughout its entire company and so, thank you again Alistair for the time you’ve spent with us. This is a huge topic, a really important topic, and as always our viewers can reach out to us at for more information and also check out


Thanks Alistair again, and thanks to all of our viewers, and we’ll see everybody next time.