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Microsoft UK partners on path to net zero

Vendor shares research that indicates the vast majority of its channel base are aiming to hit government sustainability targets

Microsoft’s channel base is committed to becoming net zero, and the vast majority are looking to get there by or before 2050.

The vendor has shared a study, Partnering on the road to net zero, lifting the lid on what its channel base is doing to help the UK hit net zero targets. The firm’s partners account for 1% of all VAT-registered companies across the country.  

Microsoft has made its own sustainability commitments and has been charting the progress made by its partners. The latest study follows on from last year’s Accelerating the journey to net zero – a UK blueprint for carbon reduction. That research found the majority of organisations in the UK were set to miss the government’s 2050 target for net zero carbon emissions.

In the intervening period, the focus on sustainability has only intensified, with the channel becoming aware that the lack of a strong story around the issue will cost business and hit the bottom line.

The latest study from Microsoft showed that 89% of its UK partners aim to reach net zero by 2050, and are also helping to do the same for their customers. Further highlights included the nugget that 60% of the channel viewed technology as a major tool in helping to deliver net zero goals, and 44% had already seen that translate into increased demand from customers looking for IT that will help them be more sustainable.

A third of Microsoft partners have already developed new solutions to support customers, and the vendor highlighted that this was an opportunity that is only set to grow further.

“Today’s research shows that Microsoft’s UK partners are eager to play their part in the UK’s transition to a greener and more prosperous future,” said Orla McGrath, global partner solutions lead at Microsoft UK. “With their deep expertise in delivering innovative technology and consulting solutions, Microsoft partners are well placed to accelerate both their own journey to net zero and that of their customers.”

Net zero guidance

For partners looking for guidance on the net zero journey, the vendor produced a list of areas of focus (see box) that would foster greater sustainability, including decarbonisation, improving in-house skills and looking at the supply chain to identify risks.

Others in the industry have advised the channel to lean on vendors and others in the ecosystem to provide expertise, and Microsoft has indicated it is prepared to do that to get its UK partners to net zero by 2050.

Areas to focus on

What can the channel do to help customers and themselves get to net zero? Here are some of the things that Microsoft views as positive steps to take:

Connected sustainability: To help customers embed sustainability across the entire organisation, use in-house sustainability goals to showcase knowledge, create use cases and provide proof of concepts.

Decarbonisation: Provide customers with tools to accurately calculate, track and report scope one, two and three emissions.

Innovation: Meet growing customer demand for advanced technologies and analytics to deliver insights that optimise performance and accelerate pathways to net zero.

Funding and skills: Lack of in-house skills is a top sustainability barrier for UK organisations. Recognise current talent and skills gaps, and invest in the necessary in-house training.

Supply chain and collaboration: Work with suppliers, customers and other partners to identify material risks, and unlock opportunities for improvements via business operations and upstream or downstream activities.

Solutions: Partners should deploy sustainability technologies that can help customers meet their sustainability targets.

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