Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 27 October 2020

Environment

Shell and Microsoft expand partnership to lower carbon emissions

The companies will also work to advance the use of sustainable aviation fuels

Microsoft has committed to replenish more water than it consumes in next 10 years. AP
Microsoft has committed to replenish more water than it consumes in next 10 years. AP

Oil major Shell and the US-based tech giant Microsoft are expanding their partnership to lower carbon emissions as they look to achieve their sustainability targets.

As part of the tie-up, Shell will supply Microsoft with renewable energy to help the tech giant meet its commitment to fully power its operations using renewable energy by 2025. The two companies will also work towards the use of sustainable aviation fuel.

“We are proud of the work we have already done together. Our strategic alliance will enable us to push the boundaries … we believe we can unlock tremendous progress for Shell, Microsoft, our customers and beyond,” Huibert Vigeveno, downstream director of Shell, said in a statement on Tuesday.

This alliance will support Shell’s ambition to be a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050 or sooner, it said in a statement. Supplying renewable energy will help Microsoft deliver on its renewable energy supply goals and its broader ambition to be carbon negative by 2050.

“We are building on our work with Shell by establishing a deeper alliance to further accelerate innovation in support of decarbonisation and energy industry transition,” said Judson Althoff, executive vice president of Microsoft’s worldwide commercial business.

Cross-industry collaboration is fundamental to help society reach net-zero emissions by 2050, he added.

Both Microsoft and Shell have been working together on deploying artificial intelligence for three years.

This year, 47 AI-powered proprietary applications have been deployed across Shell’s businesses. They have shown potential to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in Shell’s operations, the firms said in a joint statement.

Using latest technologies, Shell is accessing real-time data insights that improve onsite safety and reduce carbon emissions. For example, Microsoft Azure powers Shell’s autonomous recognition system, which uses image recognition algorithms to detect when equipment or parts of a site are susceptible to corrosion.

Microsoft has also committed to replenish more water than it consumes in next 10 years.

“We are tackling our water consumption in two ways - reducing our water use intensity and replenishing water in the [water] stressed regions we operate,” said Brad Smith, company’s president.

Microsoft’s water replenishment strategy includes investments in projects such as wetland restoration and the removal of impervious surfaces like asphalt, which will help replenish water back into the basins that need it most.

“We will focus our replenishment efforts on roughly 40 highly stressed basins where we have operations,” Mr Smith said.

Updated: September 23, 2020 02:14 PM

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