Microsoft Carbon Negative Pledge 2030


Microsoft is a US based international technology company that produces both software and hardware. They are best known for their Microsoft Office software suite, Xbox video game consoles and the Microsoft Surface touchscreen computers.


“The scientific consensus is clear. The world confronts an urgent carbon problem. The carbon in our atmosphere has created a blanket of gas that traps heat and is changing the world’s climate. Already, the planet’s temperature has risen by 1 degree centigrade. If we don’t curb emissions, and temperatures continue to climb, science tells us that the results will be catastrophic.”

Microsoft Carbon Negative Pledge 2030 launch with the senior leadership team
Microsoft President Brad Smith, Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood and CEO Satya Nadella preparing to announce Microsoft’s plan to be carbon negative by 2030. (Jan. 15, 2020/Photo by Brian Smale)


While the world will need to reach net zero, those of us who can afford to move faster and go further should do so. That’s why today we are announcing an ambitious goal and a new plan to reduce and ultimately remove Microsoft’s carbon footprint.

By 2030 Microsoft will be carbon negative, and by 2050 Microsoft will remove from the environment all the carbon the company has emitted either directly or by electrical consumption since it was founded in 1975.

We recognize that progress requires not just a bold goal but a detailed plan. As described below, we are launching today an aggressive program to cut our carbon emissions by more than half by 2030, both for our direct emissions and for our entire supply and value chain. We will fund this in part by expanding our internal carbon fee, in place since 2012 and increased last year, to start charging not only our direct emissions, but those from our supply and value chains.

Taking a Principled Approach

Whenever we take on a new and complex societal issue, we strive first to learn and then to define a principled approach to guide our efforts. This has been fundamental to our work around the protection of privacy and the ethical development of artificial intelligence, and it’s the approach we’re taking to pursue our aggressive carbon goals as well. We’ve concluded that seven principles, or elements, will be vital as we continually innovate and take additional steps on an ongoing basis.

  1. Grounding in science and math. We will continually ground our work in the best available science and most accurate math, as we describe further below.
  2. Taking responsibility for our carbon footprint. We will take responsibility for all our emissions, so by 2030 we can cut them by more than half and remove more carbon than we emit each year.
  3. Investing for new carbon reduction and removal technology. We will deploy $1 billion of our own capital in a new Climate Innovation Fund to accelerate the development of carbon reduction and removal technologies that will help us and the world become carbon negative.
  4. Empowering customers around the world. Perhaps most importantly, we will develop and deploy digital technology to help our suppliers and customers reduce their carbon footprints.
  5. Ensuring effective transparency. We will publish an annual Environmental Sustainability Report that provides transparency on our progress, based on strong global reporting standards.
  6. Using our voice on carbon-related public policy issues. We will support new public policy initiatives to accelerate carbon reduction and removal opportunities.
  7. Enlisting our employees. We recognize that our employees will be our biggest asset in advancing innovation, and we will create new opportunities to enable them to contribute to our efforts.


Thanks to Carolyn Butler-Madden for sharing this with me.


This is a great example of a manifesto in action – and a good model to follow.

It starts with the motivation: “The world confronts an urgent carbon problem.”

Next is the declaration that says – this is what we are going to do about this: “By 2030 Microsoft will be carbon negative.”

Then to turn the idea into a plan, Microsoft have identified 7 key principles to follow.

The principles are the strategy for how Microsoft will become carbon negative by 2030.

This includes the key point of who is going to be involved here and what we need to do to engage and support them – empower customers, enlist employees and importantly use their voice to lead the conversation.

Finally, they point to big opportunity as impacting their entire supply chain. It’s not just a ‘we’ll look after our own backyard’ approach. Instead, it’s a holistic and ultimately collaborative approach.

This is leadership!


Renewable UK – Cymru Renewable Energy Manifesto

UN – Sustainable Development Goals

Qantas Customer Charter

UNEP Positive Impact Manifesto


The United Nations Environment Program Finance Initiatve (UNEP FI) is a partnership between UNEP and the global financial sector.

The Positive Impact Manifesto was initially released in October 2015 and updated in October 2016.


In the wake of the 1992 Earth Summit, the Positive Impact Manifesto was created to promote sustainable finance.

Over 200 financial institutions, including banks, insurers and fund managers, work with UNEP to understand today’s environmental challenges, why they matter to finance, and how to actively participate in addressing them.

UNEP FI Positive Impact Manifsto - Roadmap to Financing the SDGs (Social Development Goals)


As the global population approaches nine billion people, today’s world is one of increasing needs, decreasing natural resources, and rapid technological change.

In September 2015, the UN General Assembly formally established 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be addressed by 2030, which effectively provide a common framework for public and private stakeholders to set their agendas and define their policies and strategies over the next 15 years.

$5-7 trillion a year until 2030 are needed to realise the SDGs worldwide, including investments into infrastructure, clean energy, water and sanitation and agriculture.

The greater part of the necessary financing and investment will need to stem from private finance.

Hindered by often unattractive risk and return profiles, to-date the amount of private finance mobilised for these purposes remains in marked contrast to the scale of the needs.

Yet for the SDGs to be met and to address the challenges they embody in due time, they must attract the trillions of USD of mainstream finance.

In short, the unmet needs must become the source of a profitable market.

Positive impact: a new approach to business and finance to achieve the SDGs

By seeking a holistic understanding of the environmental, social and economic needs around us, new business models can be developed that will deliver the impacts sought by the SDGs.

To address multiple and interrelated needs, these new business models will need to be cross-sectoral and sufficiently disruptive to dramatically reduce the cost of achieving the SDGs.

Such a holistic, impact-based approach is however not currently at the heart of the market, and is precisely the paradigm shift that is required.

To achieve the shift to an impact-based business and financing paradigm and ultimately the emergence of a vibrant SDG-serving market, a major challenge needs to be addressed, namely: the absence of a common language for the finance and private sector to understand and organize itself in relation to the 17 SDGs and their respective targets.

Positive Impact business and finance should be understood as that which serves to deliver a positive impact on one or more of the three pillars of sustainable development (economic, environmental and social), once any potential negative impacts to any of the pillars have been duly identified and mitigated.

Positive Impact Finance

Positive Impact Finance is that which serves to finance positive impact business.

It is that which serves to deliver a positive contribution to one or more of the three pillars of sustainable development (economic, environmental and social), once any potential negative impacts to any of the pillars have been duly identified and mitigated.

By virtue of this holistic appraisal of sustainability issues, Positive Impact Finance constitutes a direct response to the challenge of financing the SDGs.

Beyond a common definition, a common framework for the financing of the SDGs – the Principles for Positive Impact Finance – should be established to help the finance community to identify and assess positive impact activities, entities and projects – i.e. those able to make a positive contribution to the SDGs.

They also help a broader set of public and private stakeholders define and assess those financial instruments that serve such positive impact business.

Thus equipped, businesses, financial institutions and their counterparts in the public sector and broader civil society should start to form a positive impact community — the Positive Impact Initiative.

The Initiative should act as a hub for stakeholders to proactively and collaboratively work towards the development and implementation of new business models and financing approaches that will help address the SDG funding gap and realize the SDGs themselves.



The power of a great manifesto is to present and highlight a need. It doesn’t always have to have the answer. It can simply be a call to action.

The Positive Impact Manifesto is a good example of this with these specific elements:

  1. The Goal: Fulfil the UN Sustainable Development Goals
  2. The General Problem: We need money
  3. The Specific Problem: The usual way we finance projects does not and will not work.
  4. The General Solution: We need a new way to think about and define finance for these projects.
  5. The Specific Solution: We need to think holistically.
  6. The Strategy: We need to create new business models.

The six steps provide a useful framework for mapping many complex issues that you might like to use in your organisational or social manifesto.

While you might not express your manifesto with all these steps, they can be used as a process to work from the goal and the problems through to solutions and strategy.


UN Sustainable Development Goals

Acumen Poverty Manifesto – adopting a similar approach by using innovative business models to deliver projects that resolve poverty

Arthur D Little Innovation Manifesto

Brilliant City Sydney Manifesto


“AECOM is the world’s premier infrastructure firm, partnering with clients to solve the world’s most complex challenges and build legacies for generations to come.” (website)


This manifesto is a comprehensive proposition for future Sydney with 8 million residents. Intended to guide business and government, it offers ambitious reforms to plan for the larger population size, which could be reached as early as 2050.


10 Big Moves

  1. Evolve Sydney’s governance model
  2. Rethink future procurement and delivery
  3. Embed a smart city approach to planning
  4. Value green infrastructure
  5. Optimise Sydney transport
  6. Deliver next-generation corridors
  7. Reform Sydney’s freight network
  8. Make housing more diverse and affordable
  9. Turn Sydney electric
  10. Create a water-sensitive city


Brilliant City Sydney Manifesto


In the early 1990s, I was selected to speak at two international Ecological City conferences.

My topic was to talk about my proposed strategy for the design of my home city – Geelong.

In particular I was suggesting we needed to create public Design Goals. This was to counter the closed planning process that favoured projects that promised short-term jobs and tourist projects but ultimately did not enhance the public amenity of the locals.

I’m pleased to say the Brilliant City Sydney Manifesto adopts a similar approach – it presents a series of general goals and then specific ones to Sydney.

The visual diagram on this page from their report highlights this.

This manifesto is best read in partnership with the AECOM Brilliant Cities manifesto.

Together they present a great way to lead the conversation by offer three tiers:

  1. A unique context
  2. A set of rules or principles for winning in that context
  3. An application of these principles

This example of Sydney demonstrates part three in this process by applying the principles to a real-world situation.


AECOM’s Brilliant Cities

Vancouver – Greenest City in the World 2020

Trevor Boddy – Hybrid City

AECOM’s Brilliant Cities


“AECOM is the world’s premier infrastructure firm, partnering with clients to solve the world’s most complex challenges and build legacies for generations to come.” (website)


“Cities have never been more important, nor the competition among them more intense. The cities that are positioned to excel are pursuing visionary, integrated strategies to tap hidden value, attract people and investment, and overcome financial and operational challenges.”


Brilliant cities are globally renowned for being prosperous and highly liveable.

They allow residents to live close to where they work, and enjoy housing security and easy access to services, amenities and open space.

Crucially, infrastructure, services and technology are deeply integrated with people’s lives.

Digital applications and the sharing economy operate around the clock, giving residents seamless on-demand access to transport and other services at any hour of the day.

These technological innovations connect communities; they also enable remote work and sharing of ideas. In addition, a greater mix of housing types provides residents

with more diverse, equitable and, in turn, liveable environments.

Achieving this vision (in Sydney) will take more than just spending money. Governance, planning and procurement settings are crucial.

All three tiers of government, as well as other stakeholders, must also collaborate to identify goals and prioritise funding, and they must be held accountable for delivering these commitments.



This is a very clever piece of Thought Leadership.

AECOM build infrastructure. To create demand and ultimately pitch their expertise, they have the created their own opportunity and conversation about what is needed: Brilliant Cities.

That’s a simple and power two-word phrase. ‘Cities’ is the context and ‘brilliant’ is their unique descriptor or niche term.

Together they ask the questions:

  • What is a brilliant city?
  • Is my city brilliant?
  • What would we need to do to make it brilliant?

Historically, this type of discussion document was created by government entities. Instead, I believe this document is inspired and created by AECOM. That’s being a leader in your market.

Even better, they have created a context that can applied to different situations – in this case to different cities.

Separately I have posted Brilliant City Sydney Manifesto. I suggest you download the pdf – it’s a beautifully designed document that outlines the principles they are pursuing and how they would go about this. From the three tiers of government (Local, State and Federal) that could enact the plan, AECOM has highlighted the goals and some broad projects that could be implemented to achieve these goals.

This sets up a three-tier Thought Leadership approach:

  1. Define a unique context eg Brilliant Cities
  2. Write the rules for success – what critieria do you need to achieve to become a Brilliant City
  3. Applications of your rules – in this case, Sydney


Brilliant City Sydney Manifesto

Vancouver – Greenest City in the World 2020

Trevor Boddy – Hybrid City

Nutiva Real Food Manifesto


Nutiva is a US based good supplier founded by John Roulac in 1999.


Food is no longer just a personal issue about what you put in your mouth. It is now a choice that can have a profound impact on the planet.

Nutiva Real Food Manifesto


The Visual

Real food manifesto for all eaters, growers, producers and marketers

  1. Eat real food not unhealthy processed food
  2. Power to the people through collective will, purchasing power and social media
  3. GMOs begone – label our food because we have a right to know
  4. Hail to the locavore – say yes to local and organic
  5. Less corn and soy – Half of US diets come from corn and soy. There are 10,000 other crops – try a few.
  6. End industrial food subsidies to give organic farms a chance
  7. Carbon farmers unite to heal our climate
  8. Less toxins and cheap industrial foods. More organics!
  9. Stop corruption by Wall Street and Big Ag in regulations and courts
  10. Together, let’s revolutionize the way the world eats

The Mini-festo

In a world where the industrialized food system has led us down a tangled path, where food choices have been reduced to the lesser-of-evils, and where distrust reigns, we are the champions of the greater good.

Tireless seekers of pure and delicious foods that will nourish our bodies and our planet, we have devoted ourselves to a dream, a vision, a mission. We will revolutionize the way the world eats! And in so doing we will bring nourishment and balance, health and well being, sustainability and community to people and planet.

We know change is hard but we want to make it easy. We went out looking for the kind of foods that packed a powerful amount of nutrition into every bite, so that you could make small changes to big effect.

We found superfoods – nutrient-dense powerhouses that can also be grown and processed in a sustainable way. These are foods that are truly good for you and for the planet. They’re foods like hemp and coconut, chia and red palm. They’re organic, full of vital nutrition, easy to use and delicious additions to your diet.

We say food doesn’t have to be a choice between the lesser of evils. We say let food lead us to a better world. We say super people deserve superfoods. We say, come join us in our mission.

Together, we can change the world.



This is a great example of sharing your message and your manifesto in multiple ways.

First, a brief, easy-to-read visual based on ten bullet points – a rule based manifesto.

Second, a short 230 statement that promotes a similar message with a different set of words – a worldview manifesto.

Which one do you prefer?

The great benefit of a brief visual is that it can be readily shared and easily consumed. The downside is that it can over simply your issue.

The great benefit of a short statement is that you can be more precise in what you’re standing for and provide more depth. The downside is that fewer people will engage with a mass of words.

Ideally, you would want to have both to present different angles and viewpoints for your issue.


Academic Slow Food Manifesto

Andrew Castronovo – Superfood Manifesto

UN Sustainable Development Goals

The Slow Clothing Manifesto


Jane Milburn is a sustainability consultant and Slow Clothing pioneer. She established Textile Beat as a purpose-driven business in Brisbane in 2013.


“Every day, we eat and we dress. We have become conscious of our food, it is time to become more conscious of our clothing. We believe in slow clothing: dressing for health and wellbeing rather than status and looks. We believe in ethical, sustainable choices that don’t harm people or the planet. We want to know the story about where clothing comes from and we believe in care and repair, refashion and restyle of existing clothing using simple sewing skills.” (Textile Beat)

The Slow Clothing Manifesto -


Think: make thoughtful, ethical, informed choices

Natural: treasure fibres from nature and limit synthetics

Quality: buy well once, quality remains after price is forgotten

Local: support local makers, those with good stories and fair trade

Care: mend, patch, sort, sponge, wash less, use cold water, line dry

Few: live with less, capsule wardrobe, have one best style, unfollow

Make: embrace home sewing as a life skill, value DIY and handmade

Adapt: refashion, eco-dye, create new from old to suit yourself

Revive: enjoy vintage, exchange, op shop and swap

Salvage: donate, pass on, rag, weave, recycle or compost



This is another manifesto for the slow movement.

It highlights the versatility of a good idea: slow. There is slow food, slow travel, slow parenting and now slow clothing.

Slow is not just a way of being in the world. It also fits into the world of sustainability, nature and making the most of our resources.

It triggers a diverse response that is beautifully captured in this manifesto including: natural products, purchasing decisions, recycling, repair, sharing and expressing yourself.


Christopher Richards: The Slow Movement

Lebbeus Woods – Slow Manifesto (architecture)

Academic Slow Food Manifesto

UN Sustainable Development Goals

Outdoor Photography School Manifesto


Outdoor Photography School is an online resource and community created by Brenda Petrella to help you master both your photography skills and your outdoor skills.


The OPS Manifesto is a declaration of their core values that guide everything they do as outdoor photographers. 

Brenda Petrella's Outdoor Photography School Manifesto


Put nature first, even it if means missing the shot.

Respect all species and ecosystems.

Be kind to others.

Lead by example.

Remember we are part of nature not separate from it.

Know before we go.

Leave no trace.

Pack it in, pack it out.

Know our limits.

Plan for the unexpected.

Advocate for untouched landscapes, dark night skies, and keeping wildlife wild.

Produce images with integrity and authenticity.

Explore the outdoors rather than sit in front of a screen.

Protect what’s left like our lives depend on it.



If you didn’t know it advance, you could probably read this manifesto and think it was about camping and an outdoor lifestyle rather than a photography school.

If it was just for a couple of mates wanting to take some pictures in the wild, then it’s a neat expression of their views, but perhaps not really necessary.

However, when you ramp things up and multiply the number of people involved (It’s a photography school), then a manifesto like this one is a great idea.

It’s a great example of a niched manifesto which reflects the stated niche of the business: photography + outdoor skills.

What I particularly like about it is that it seems to have both a soft and a hard edge to it. ‘Put nature first’ is a good general comment. But, when you match this up with ‘even if it means missing the shot’, then you have a really potent rule that speaks to the heart of what is truly important to a photographer – the shot is usually everything.

That’s how you make some thing unique!

Plus, these values apply to both beginners and experts.

From a branding position this manifesto says we care and we’re here for the long haul. Yes, we take our photography seriously, but we also take nature very seriously too. As Brenda suggests on her website – we need nature. “And it’s shrinking every day around the globe.”


The Ten Golden Rules of Lomography – a photographic art movement

Simple Shoes Manifesto – shoes for a happy planet

Blue Gym Manifesto – celebrate the natural environment as a means to improving health and wellbeing.

I Fix It Repair Manifesto


iFixit is a wiki-based site that teaches people how to fix almost anything – it was started by Luke and Kyle in a collage dorm room.


The purpose of the I Fix It Repair Manifesto is to empower individuals to share their technical knowledge with the rest of the world.

What started out as a personal question to fix things and going through the experience of doing it blindly with no instructions, Luke and Kyle decided to create and share manuals for fixing just about anything.

I Fix It Repair Manifesto


We hold these truths to be self-evident

If you can’t fix it, you don’t own it

Repair is better than recycling – Making our things last longer is both more efficient and more cost-effective than mining them for raw materials

Repair saves you money – Fixing things is often free, and usually cheaper than replacing them. Doing the repair yourself saves you money.

Repair teaches engineering – The best way to find out how something works is to take it apart.

Repair saves the planet – Earth has limited resources. Eventually we will run out. The best way to be efficient is to reuse what we already have.

  • Repair connects people and things
  • Repair is war on entropy
  • Repair is sustainable

We have the right:

  • To devices that can be opened
  • To repair documentation for everything
  • To repair things in the privacy of our own homes
  • To error codes and wiring diagrams
  • To choose our own repair technician
  • To remove ‘do not remove’ stickers
  • To replace any and all consumables ourselves
  • To non-proprietary fasteners
  • To troubleshooting instructions and flowcharts
  • To available, reasonably-priced service parts

Because repair

  • Is independence
  • Saves money and resources
  • Requires creativity
  • Makes consumers into contributors
  • Inspires pride in ownership



This is the second Repair Manifesto on this site.

There are no rules that say you can’t have a manifesto on the same topic as someone else. However, there is a risk of confusion if you don’t clearly articulate your manifesto from the other one(s).

In this case, both manifestos are titled ‘Repair Manifesto’. While one was clearly created before the other, one of these will also be more popular than the other. That’s the risk you take.

I believe a better way forward to create a subset of the original one. For instance being clear that you are declaring ‘The Platform 21 Repair Manifesto’ or the ‘I Fix It Repair Manifesto’.

Also, I was attracted to the I Fix It Repair Manifesto because of it’s eye-catching visual.

While most words, I do love the clenched fist holding the wrench. It’s a neat update on the use of a fist eg Black Power salute as a display of strength.

Also, a visual like this makes it easy to be shared – as either an image and as a pdf – which is crucial if you want your movement to grow.


Platform 21 Repair Manifesto

UN Sustainable Development Goals


In 2015, the United Nations General Assembly set 17 global goals to build a sustainable future for all people. The aim was to achieve these by 2030.


The UN has defined sustainable development as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” (Wikipedia).

Over a period of several decades, the UN has defined 169 targets for the 17 goals. Each target has 1-3 progress measures

UN Sustainable Development Goals


  1. No Poverty – End poverty in all its forms.
  2. Zero Hunger – End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.
  3. Good Health and Well-being – Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.
  4. Quality Education – Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
  5. Gender Equality – Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
  6. Clean Water and Sanitation – Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
  7. Affordable and Clean Energy – Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
  8. Decent Work and Economic Growth – Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
  9. Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure – Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation.
  10. Reducing Inequality – Reduce income inequality within and among countries.
  11. Sustainable Cities and Communities – Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
  12. Responsible Consumption and Production – Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
  13. Climate Action – Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts by regulating emissions and promoting developments in renewable energy.
  14. Life Below Water – Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
  15. Life On Land – Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.
  16. Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions – Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels,
  17. Partnerships for the Goals – Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.


The official UN site:

A neat summary on Wikipedia:


At its simplest level, a manifesto is a goal (a public declaration of your intent). In this case, the UN has provided a list of goals.

If the goal of your life or business is to forward the health of the planet for all, these 17 goals provide a connection point or context to anchor your actions.


Green Party of Ontario: Five Point Manifesto

Trevor Boddy: Hybrid City

Vancouver Greenest City in the World 2020

Green Party of Ontario: Five-point Manifesto

Green Party of OntarioCreator: The Green Party of Ontario

Purpose: Five general areas to create a financially, socially and environmentally sustainable province.

The Five-Point Manifesto

1. Job creation for a modern economy.

2. Safe, affordable energy.

3. Access to health care close to home.

4. Championing local farms

5. Delivering government that works.



Article on – 7 September 2011

Green Party of Ontario Website