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Green Housing: Achieving Net Zero with Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability

The UK housing sector faces a sustainability challenge – achieving net zero for all greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This task has now been set in law, making it a legal requirement for housing providers to work in unison with the government to decarbonise homes with improved insulation and the replacement of heating systems with ‘clean heat’ technologies.

This challenge has come at a difficult time for the housing sector. Not only do they have to tackle fuel poverty, rising inflation, and reach net zero by 2050, but they also must deliver a major safety remediation project and build tens of thousands of homes to combat the housing crisis – all following a global pandemic. So, it’s safe to say housing associations have their hands full at the moment, but achieving net zero isn’t just a box ticking exercise for PR exposure – it will save housing providers and tenants money in the long run, supercharge the economy, and of course improve the health of the planet and its people.

The Route to Net Zero

While many housing providers and other organisations have pledged to reduce their emissions, few have demonstrated significant changes in performance. At COP26, it was stated that to be in with a chance of limiting the global temperature increase to 1.5°C, society must halve global carbon emissions by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050.

Historically, poor monitoring and analysis has stood in the way of achieving net zero carbon emissions. Without tools to record the current situation and track improvements, how can any organisation seek to reduce their emissions? There is no way to manage a problem if it can’t be measured, and so tools need to be effective and available in order to hold organisations accountable and support them on their decarbonisation journey.

Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability

Luckily, Microsoft’s Cloud for Sustainability is coming to the rescue. The long-awaited cloud platform is currently available to preview and will be generally available later this year. The platform will act like a financial accounting system but for carbon emissions – measuring inputs and outputs to compare data over time. Housing providers will be able to record, report, and then reduce emissions, and the platform will suggest key changes to make. Just like financial accountancy, regulatory agencies are likely to pop up to verify the accuracy of carbon emission monitoring.

Microsoft’s Cloud for Sustainability will bring everyone onto the same page using the same vocabulary, the same metrics, and the same equations. Organisations will be able to directly compare themselves with others thanks to the standardised platform. Nothing can be measured at scale unless you automate it, so the platform will allow companies of any size to easily monitor their progress with help from integrations for efficient analysis.

Microsoft found that the top reason why organisations want to implement a platform such as Cloud for Sustainability is the cost savings. Housing associations can make significant savings by reducing emissions - saving their tenants money and freeing up government budget to provide higher quality services. The second reason why organisation want to implement the platform is to improve their brand or image. Sustainability is a trend that will only continue to grow, and companies that care about the environment will attract better talent.

Microsoft’s Cloud for Sustainability is going to revolutionise the way organisations monitor their carbon emissions.

Find out more from Microsoft about the upcoming release.

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