Microsoft’s Contribution to a Green Recovery
Taking a sustainable approach to post-COVID-19 recovery is essential for rebuilding a healthy society and a healthy economy. Microsoft’s Chief Environmental Officer Lucas Joppa talks about the still-urgent need for global cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and the opportunities for a greener recovery. Microsoft has set itself ambitious yet achievable goals to become carbon negative by 2030 and by 2050 to remove the company’s historical emissions since 1975—innovating with AI, data, and technology to make it happen. These goals can only be realized if the public and private sectors come together to share research, learnings, and best practices. The new Transform to Net Zero coalition can help all stakeholders jointly turn carbon commitments into real progress toward a net zero future.
Speakers, Panelists and Moderators
LUCAS JOPPAChief Environmental OfficerMicrosoftDr. Lucas Joppa leads sustainability at Microsoft, as the company’s first Chief Environmental Officer. In this role, he works to advance Microsoft’s core commitment to sustainability through ongoing technology innovation, program development, policy advancement, and global operational excellence. With a combined background in both environmental science and data science, Lucas is committed to using the power of advanced technology to help transform how society monitors, models, and ultimately manages Earth’s natural resources. He founded Microsoft’s AI for Earth program in 2017—a five-year, $50-million cross-company effort dedicated to delivering technology-enabled solutions to global environmental challenges. With a Ph.D. in Ecology from Duke University and extensive publication in leading academic journals, such as Science and Nature, Dr. Joppa is a uniquely accredited voice for sustainability in the tech industry. In addition to formerly serving on the Federal Advisory Committee for the Sustained U.S. National Climate Assessment, Lucas is an Associate Editor in Chief for the Ecological Society of America’s EcoSphere journal and an honorary Fellow at the UN Environment Program World Conservation Monitoring Center (UNEP-WCMC). He serves on the boards of leading scientific organizations, such as NatureServe and the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) Director’s Council at UC Santa Barbara. Prior to his current role, Lucas was Microsoft’s Chief Environmental Scientist and led research programs at the intersection of environmental and computer sciences in Microsoft Research, the company’s blue-sky research division. He remains an active scientist, speaking frequently on issues related to Artificial Intelligence, environmental science, and sustainability. Along with his Ph.D., Lucas holds a B.S. in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Wisconsin and is a former Peace Corps volunteer to Malawi.
LJ RICHInventor, BBC "Click" PresenterBBC NewsWorld-renowned presenter LJ Rich is part of Click, the BBC’s flagship technology show. Since reading music at Oxford, she’s predicted tech trends and monitored emerging concepts in consumer electronics for over a decade, with particular interest in audio, AI and art. Her regular music show #ljtunes now has nearly 800,000 likes on Twitter’s live streaming service Periscope, and she’s performed live at some of the most prestigious venues on the planet. During her recent breast cancer treatment, LJ decided to make a video diary of her own chemo sessions to demystify it for others, which hit the top spot on the BBC website.