On Tuesday, four of Microsoft's top leaders including Chairman Satya Nadella, President and Vice-chair Brad Smith, CFO Amy Hood and Chief Environment Officer Lucas Joppa were recognized and granted C K Prahlad award for Global Business Sustainability Leadership for their collaborative leadership aimed at transforming Microsoft into a carbon negative company by 2030 and to remove all its historical emissions by 2050.

Satya Nadella moved from being the CEO to Chairman earlier in June 2021
Satya Nadella moved from being the CEO to Chairman earlier in June 2021Reuters

The award was initiated by Corporate Eco Forum (CEF), a by-invitation membership organization comprised of large, global companies that demonstrate a serious commitment at the senior executive level to the environment as a business strategy issue. According to the statement released by CEF, the award recognizes winners for exemplifying the fundamental connection between sustainability, innovation and long-term business success in a globalizing world.

The statement available on the CEF website further highlighted Microsoft's commitment to the cause with yearly timelines. "By 2025, the company will shift to 100% renewable energy for its data centres, buildings, and campuses, and it will protect more land than its operations use. By 2030, it will match 100% of its electricity consumption, 100% of the time, with zero-carbon energy purchases and will push beyond that to actually become carbon negative: to remove more carbon from the environment than the company emits," stated the CEF spotlight news.

Talking about planetary health, it added that Microsoft also aims to replenish more water than the company uses – a goal known as "water positive" – and a pledge to achieve zero waste for its direct operations, products and packaging.

Apart from the Microsoft business leads, the CEF platform also recognized and celebrated the efforts of former Ecolab CEO Douglas M. Baker, Jr. During his tenure as the CEO (between 2004-2021), he ensured that Ecolab became one of the largest water management companies in the world and more than tripled its net sales, while focused on sustainability, water management and carbon reduction.