Sustainability is moving up the agenda of more and more organizations. Working with its partners, Ctac helps customers achieve their sustainability goals. But what are these partners doing to make the world a bit greener? We asked Microsoft.

Seda Akdemir has been with Microsoft for more than eleven years, where she has held various positions. As from August 2022, Akedemir has been a Partner Technology Strategist. In this role, she looks at how customers can achieve more with Microsoft technology solutions and partners. Akdemir also applies her broad technical knowledge to the field of sustainability. “That knowledge makes me more aware of the various sustainability steps we can all take. I also feel responsible for using my technological knowledge to inform the people I interact with about all the potential sustainability options technology can bring them.”

The need for sustainability is growing

Akdemir sees the need to become more sustainable growing day by day. It is a topic that is now gaining more relevance and also increasingly underpins the views of the current generation. “The current generation does not want to work for an organization that has little or no idea of sustainability,” she says. “And consumers prefer to support companies that are actively committed to sustainability as well.” As mother of a six-year-old daughter, Akdemir is experiencing the current generation from up close. This impacts her view of sustainability. “As a mother, I know it’s my responsibility to make sustainability a permanent part of our daily lives,” she says. “For example, keeping our energy consumption down is a basic rule in our home.”

Sustainability embraced as a core component

The fact that Akdemir connects to sustainability in her job fits seamlessly with the fact that this topic keeps climbing higher and higher up the agenda of corporate boards. This is also the case at Microsoft, who started to embrace sustainability as a core part of its business strategy several years ago. “Microsoft wants to significantly reduce its CO2 footprint and have a positive impact on the environment,” Akdemir explains. “We want to be CO2 neutral by 2030. Microsoft is taking practical steps to achieve this goal. For example, investing in renewable energy, and improving energy efficiency in our business premises and data centers.”

Transparent source of inspiration

Microsoft believes it is important to be   transparent about its sustainability policy.  With such transparency, Microsoft hopes to be a source of inspiration for its customers. Akdemir: “We want to help our customers achieve their sustainability goals. And this starts with drawing up a sustainability strategy where you set out clear, realistic goals over a timeline that makes sense. Then it is important that your stakeholders, such as your employees and customers, are advocates for your sustainability strategy. If they don’t see the point of it, it will never take off properly.”

Akdemir is fully aware that sustainability is currently the biggest challenge for companies. “It’s not simple. It’s best to look at this subject as a long journey. It’s a journey that ultimately makes you better as a company,” she says. “That is the approach you need to take. Think of it as a marketing challenge, where you tackle sustainability initiatives as a way to make profits. For example, by implementing innovative sustainability solutions that strengthen your market position.”

Portfolio full of solutions that work

Microsoft is happy to help companies become more sustainable. To succeed in this mission, it can draw on a broad portfolio. For example, Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability supports companies to make their IT infrastructure more sustainable, to make their operations greener and to achieve greater transparency and sustainability in their supply chain.

In addition to Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability, the Impact Emissions Dashboards for Microsoft Azure and Microsoft 365 can provide assistance as it shows exactly what the CO2 impact of your cloud usage is and how much you will be able to reduce CO2 emissions in future.

Awareness is the key word

Microsoft offers a host of solutions that help companies to become more sustainable, but companies need to be on the sustainability track to use these. So, the key word here is awareness. Akdemir sees a major role for partners such as Ctac in this area. “On the one hand, Ctac can provide excellent support to consumers during the implementation of solutions that contribute to sustainability. On the other hand, they can make the urgency of the need for sustainability visible and motivate customers to start working on it. For example, by sharing success stories and promoting sustainability initiatives, but also by collaborating on sustainability projects.”

Akdemir sums up the first step towards sustainability effectively, with her insistence on the importance of collaboration and her call for awareness. She fervently hopes that organisations will actually tackle this topic. “Sustainability is more than just a buzzword you can throw around. By taking practical steps in this area, you can add real value.”