Microsoft president warns lack of people capable of tackling climate change

According to the latest report, Microsoft President Brad Smith warned that thousands of companies will fail to meet climate change commitments unless they start to conduct employee training.

Common guidance on issues such as carbon accounting is too fragmented for the roughly 3,900 companies that have vowed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, Smith said on Wednesday, saying: “We have to move quickly to start reducing our emissions, and ultimately the bottleneck is the supply of technical talent .”

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Microsoft sells software to businesses to track their environmental impact. Still, Smith said businesses needed more than technology to address global warming while announcing plans to develop green educational materials.

Moreover, research conducted Wednesday by Microsoft and Boston Consulting Group found that 68 percent of businesses have environmental leaders recruited internally, and their team members often lack sustainability-related degrees.

The findings come largely from interviews and surveys of Microsoft and eight other large companies in sectors such as finance and consumer goods.

Microsoft Climate ChangeFor example, a Microsoft employee worked for the company for more than 30 years, working in customer support, procurement, and other roles before being promoted to lead the sustainability team.

While Microsoft itself has grown its sustainability-focused workforce from around 30 to around 250 over the past three years, having the right workforce to meet its carbon reduction goals remains a challenge, Smith said. He said companies should bring in faculty, pay for continuing education and hold meetings on carbon reduction strategies.