chief environmental officer microsoft

From the Microsoft Research Lab in Bengaluru to the Digital India initiative at the corporate level, we have seen a focus on initiatives like wildlife conservation, water sustainability, and agriculture for smallholder farmers among others, which are of significant importance to a large population in a geography like India. Lauren Groper, founder and CEO of Repurpose, joins Cheddar to discuss how compostable products can be used to cut down on plastic waste, and gives tips for people who want to kick off their journey towards sustainability. Along with his PhD, Lucas holds a BS in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Wisconsin and is a former Peace Corps volunteer to Malawi.

This makes me extremely proud to be part of the AI for Earth program at Microsoft. Can technology help accelerate biodiversity conservation? 'Microsoft Creates Too Much Waste,' Will Cut Back to Fight Climate Change, This Company is Using Compostable Dinnerware to Fight Against Plastic Pollution, Australian Billionaire Commits $300 Million to Fight Plastic Waste, We use cookies and similar technologies on this site to collect identifiers, such as IP address, and cookie and device IDs as described in our.
Through AI for Earth, we’re democratizing access to AI for everyone who wants to contribute to protecting the planet’s natural resources.

Can it help conserve fresh water?

Today, we have grants in almost 30 countries.

I pursued research programs for about eight years at Microsoft Research. This makes me extremely proud to be part of the AI for Earth program at Microsoft.

To see the demand, acknowledge it, and invest resources at a scale that is needed today is one thing and to commit to doing it well into the future is entirely another thing. And, those can be underfunded non-profits or university departments or government agencies that represent the environment and are consistently short changed on budgets. But it also got me thinking that there’s got to be some way to get out ahead. 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. Microsoft’s approach is a holistic, end-to-end one. Microsoft Chief Environmental Officer Lucas Joppa speaks as the company announces plans to be carbon negative by 2030 and to negate all the direct carbon emissions ever made by the company by 2050 at their campus in Redmond, Washington, U.S., …

That’s what we’re focusing on in 2019 along with providing the infrastructure to bring new services, applications, and platforms, onto the cloud so that we can use our platform to tell the world what the citizens of planet Earth care about. This week on the pod, Jon Powers sits down with Dr. Lucas Joppa, Chief Environmental Officer at Microsoft. That’s indicative of a lot of things that we see going on in India at the intersection of the environment, social engagement, and technology. 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. This leads us to make sustainable choices pertaining to natural resources. Mphasis uses Power Apps to keep employees safe and productive while working from home, A non-profit empowers marginalized communities in rural India to tackle COVID-19 with virtual trainings,, Green warriors from India receive Microsoft AI for Earth grants to enable a sustainable future. Today, as the first Chief Environmental Officer at Microsoft, Joppa leads AI for Earth, a five-year, $50 million global program that blends ecological science and cutting-edge AI to solve some of the planet’s most pressing environmental challenges. Andrew Forrest, Chairman at Minderoo Foundation, joined Cheddar to discuss the goal for the initiative. With a PhD 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. “There are two conclusions you can take from the report,” he says.

India has had an enthusiastic engagement with the grant program.

Here are some edited excerpts from our conversation.

Microsoft’s Chief Environmental Officer reveals why he thinks the world of AI for Earth At the end of 2018, the WWF published a report stating that global wildlife populations have fallen 60% since 1970. We’ve just completed the first year of the AI for Earth initiative. Last year, I left Microsoft Research and started serving as the company’s first Chief Environmental Scientist leading the AI for Earth program. As soon as we went out there, the response from individuals and organizations across the world was incredible. How did the AI for Earth program come about? Can mankind’s greatest technological advancements help solve the biggest ecological challenges facing planet earth? Then I did my PhD in Ecology. Dr. Lucas Joppa leads sustainability at Microsoft, as the company’s first Chief Environmental Officer. Listen to Experts Only episodes free, on demand. I began to see that there was one thing that was accelerating exponentially and potentially even faster than the degradation of our planet’s natural resources. Our methodology has the sophistication and holistic mindset that blends seamlessly with the depth in investment and diversity of approach. In addition to formerly serving on the Federal Advisory Committee for the Sustained U.S. National Climate Assessment, Lucas is an Associate Editor for the Ecological Society of America’s EcoSphere journal and serves on the boards of leading scientific organizations, such as NatureServe and the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC), as well as the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) Director’s Council at UC Santa Barbara.
One of the amazing things about being at Microsoft is that when demand is great, we have the resources to scale to that demand. When we say AI, we mean we’re deploying the full gamut of AI to change the way we observe things on Earth, the way we communicate those observations, the way we classify those observations to meaningful information, and the way we make predictions and optimizations over that information.

Lucas Joppa, chief environmental officer at Microsoft, talks about the company's 2030 goal year to achieve zero waste output. Tell us about your experience in India. In December, the grant was increased to $50 million.

These are some of the existential questions that have kept Lucas Joppa awake at night for more than a decade.

It was clear that the $2 million that was put in at the beginning of the program was not enough to satisfy the overall market demand and so that’s really why we responded. What enthused me was that Microsoft, about a decade ago, had realized that this was where the real challenges were, both for society and the technology sector. It is not very different from the way Microsoft went from a tiny little idea in the minds of Bill Gates and Paul Allen, to the company that it is today. It’s almost a geological age in the technology sector. Lucas Joppa, chief environmental officer at Microsoft, talks about the company's 2030 goal year to achieve zero waste output. We caught up with him to learn more about the program, his experience with technology interventions for environmental advancement, and his vision of deploying AI to advance sustainability across the globe. We’ve brought on board subject matter experts like me who have a PhD in Ecology and my colleagues, and together we’re making plans and working hand-in-hand with our partners, to help them be the heroes of their stories.

And that was technology.

After completing my undergraduate degree in Wildlife Ecology, I spent time in the Peace Corps working for Malawi’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife. We have to invest efforts in bringing to the fore all the technologies that we have at our disposal to create an impact in the areas that we care about. What was the response to the AI for Earth program in India? One of the biggest ironies in today’s time is that we often ask those with the least to do the most. Microsoft looks to be a leader in environmental sustainability with its new plan to reduce its waste. So yeah, Microsoft is not alone.

Lucas Joppa, Microsoft’s Chief Environmental Officer and the man behind the company’s $50m AI for Earth programme, is honestly blunt when asked about the UN’s findings during a visit to London recently. Allegheny County, PA Allowed to Count About 29,000 Votes After Court Order Stop. What are the learnings so far and what do you expect in the next few years? How is Microsoft’s approach to AI for Earth different from similar initiatives from other technology companies? To find out more about Microsoft’s AI for Earth initiative and how you can be a part of it, visit

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. Can it help achieve global food security? 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. How did you transition to the role of the Chief Environmental Officer at Microsoft?

The second learning is that we need to continue to work to contextualize Microsoft’s technologies for those who focus on natural resources. You can name a technology company of your choice and if you dig enough, you’d find an environmentally-focused program or project that they might be running.

We’re building a team that can address environmental issues along with our partners. What drove this multi-fold increase? By


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