Building a Sustainable Value Chain in Government

Building a Sustainable Value Chain in Government

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Hello and welcome to channel four on this fine afternoon. Really, really excited to have you all with us. We have a really exciting session today, this afternoon for you, with, with Microsoft and, a special guest from Treasury Board of Canada Secretary. So what we're going to be talking about this afternoon has really, seems to me like the key problem at building a sustainable value chain in government.

For me, digital government transformation first hit my radar, I think in 2009-2010, where there was a term- I work in the tech industry, by the way, I'm your host, Ian, and I do cloud computing for a living. It first hit my radar, in 2009-2010, with the introduction of gov 2.0, which Tim O'Reilly talked about. And that got me really interested, as a citizen. And, one of the things that's amazing 10 years later, is this pandemic has really accelerated adoption of cloud-based and digital platforms.

But one of the things we're suddenly starting to realize is, you know, it's, we've, it's great that we can adopt, adopt it. And wow, thank, thank goodness we have these tools. But how are we going to do that sort of going forward, sustainably? And in some cases it feels a bit like changing the tires on the truck while we're driving down the highway. So, I am super, super excited to introduce, first of all, Olivia Neal, who, I got a chance to learn about her work. She's a bit of a legend before her time in the digital government scene. I got to learn about this about 10 years ago, I was invited to go visit the UK digital government initiative the GDS.

And, she has thankfully come over to Canada to help us with, with this problem. And apparently, fun fact has been, spending quite a bit of time camping and exploring the park and doing a, I guess what would be Canadian transformation. So thank you, Olivia. And welcome.

I'm really excited to have you. Thanks Ian. And thanks everyone for joining us today. That's a very kind introduction and yeah, I have completely been getting into the Canadian lifestyle for the three and a half years since I've been in Canada. But particularly during the pandemic, this is really encouraged me to be more outdoorsy than I think I probably ever was before.

So, thank you so much to everybody for joining us here today. What we're going to do in our session together, we've got 90 minutes as a whole. I'm going to be kicking off by talking a little bit about Microsoft's approach to sustainability and some of the goals that, that we've been setting for ourselves and, and how we're looking at achieving those.

And then going to be handing over to one of my former colleagues, in Treasury Board, Secretary, Mark Levene. And Mark is somebody who's been really, really heavily involved in driving the digital nation's agenda. And we're really lucky to have him with us today because I imagine he's completely exhausted having run the digital nations ministerial summit for the last, last few days, but delighted to have Mark with us amongst and talk to us about what, what the digital nation's conversations have been around sustainability and a bit about the Canadian government approach. And then we're going to hand over to some of the fantastic Microsoft team who are going to run a workshop session with all of you. And that's going to be an interactive session where we're going to be looking at what are the areas where we really need to push, what are some of the barriers and how can we drive some of these things forward together? And what are some of these tools that are out there for people to use? And Olivia, if you don't mind me interjecting just before you get started. Just an order, just an order of, of code.

Audience should feel really comfortable adding their questions into the community chat, and those will be related to our amazing speakers. So please, please bring on the questions. I'm sure they'll be delighted to handle them. And just a reminder that we are following the FWD50 code of conduct that we all agreed to when we signed up for this.

So, that's, and with that said, after Olivia and Mark are done, I will be, I will be back to introduce the workshop session. Thanks, Olivia. Great. Thanks Ian. Okay, so let's kick off by talking a little bit about Microsoft and what we've set out as our commitments on sustainability. So, we at Microsoft, a very large company, and I'm sure you were aware of this, one of the largest companies in the world.

We employ over 160,000 people. We have our own big procurement and supply chain. So one of the reasons that we wanted to start this session with you by talking about this, this approach, it's not that we think, you know, we are, we are the best in the world, but we've really been working hard on setting these out as, as goals.

And we wanted to share how we're thinking about getting that, because I think that this might help you think about how you want to move your, your own goals and your own agendas forward. So at Microsoft, we've been working a lot in 2020 to set out these really ambitious goals. And we've been focusing on sustainability for many, many years now, but it's really become very clear around the world how much of a priority it is.

And we see ourselves as having a position, both to influence our own activities, but to also start to influence the way that others in the market operate and to set out what some of these expectations are for others. So during 2020, we've been pushing forward in setting out commitments on four different areas. So when we're thinking about sustainability at Microsoft, we think about carbon, water waste and ecosystems. And so during this year, we've set out targets on all of these areas.

So for us, in the carbon space, by 2030, we will be carbon negative. And by 2050, we will have reduced all carbon that has been emitted by Microsoft as a company since our creation in 1975. So that is obviously a huge target on a lot of activity to get there. So I'm going to come back to carbon and that's the one I'm going to focus on in a little bit more detail in terms of those steps that we're going to take. In terms of water, we have set out the goal and the target to a water positive company by 2030.

So that means that we will be replenishing more water back into those areas that need it most, that we take from the environment. So that is another huge area of focus for us. In terms of waste, we will be a zero waste company by 2030, and that applies to our operations or the data centers that we run. So really thinking about how we introduce, reusing and recycling and repurposing components and data centers, as well as the other areas or operations. Because of course at Microsoft, we have elements of our businesses that involve a lot of packaging.

So for example, X-Box. So thinking about how do we become a zero waste across all of those areas of operation. And then the last part of our puzzle in terms of sustainability and how we look at it is ecosystems and biodiversity.

And in that space, we are investing hugely in AI focus and making the, the types of tools that we're developing available as open source on GitHub for people to use. And also in a planetary computer, which will start to allow people to really focus on the data that exists around sustainability and how we can work together on driving those areas forward. So in the time that we've got today, what area that I'm just going to focus on here is our approaches to carbon, because I think we hear a lot about being carbon neutral and that's something that actually we've been doing since about 2012.

And there's lots of different ways of talking about being carbon neutral, carbon negative, and the focuses that we have there. But for us, being neutral is not enough. And so that's the reasoning behind our big of bowls, a target of being carbon negative, and then removing carbon from the atmosphere going back to 1975.

So when we talk about 2030, that seems like it's something that's, you know, a long way away. But 10 years is not long. 10 years is not a long time for us to get to being carbon negative. So we are acting fast and quickly to get there.

And one of the really important areas of focus in terms of this target, we are not making it easy on ourselves. We are looking at both scope one, scope two, and scope three emissions. And to explain a little bit about what those scopes are when we're thinking about carbon that we emit and carbon that we are responsible for our carbon footprint. So talking about scope one.

That is the carbon that is related to our own direct activities. When we're talking about scope two, that is the carbon that is related to our indirect activities. And scope three is everything that comes through our supply chain. So to make that more concrete for Microsoft, we would in a normal year, maybe last year, be probably emitting around 16 million tons of carbon.

And all of that, about a hundred thousand is within scope one for us. So about a hundred thousand days, I'll earn direct emissions scope to those indirect emissions, relating to things like electricity use that's around 4 million metric tons. So there's around 12 million metric tons, which actually fall within scope three for us. So that's our supply team.

So bringing in scope three into our targets and saying, actually we are going to be including those scope three emissions in our targets makes our challenge so much more difficult, but so much more meaningful. So that is really crucial for us. We are bringing in scope three into the way that we're thinking about a carbon emissions and the action that we're taking. So for us as an organization, that's a much wider area of focus. And one of the key ways that we're looking at, how do we address that, is through an internal carbon fee. So we've had an internal carbon fee at Microsoft since 2012, and that applies across all of our business sides and that one of the areas of activity, but it hadn't previously applied to us scope three emissions.

So this year we raised the price of that carbon free. So if you're interested, it's now $15 a ton. But we now have also applied it to all of our emissions in all of those scopes. So that's a really tangible practical piece of activity that we are doing internally to make people think differently about how they operate, how they engage, what suppliers they work with.

And we really feel that that by operating different needs through our own activities, we can really start to set and shape the way that other people in the market work, because we are very conscious of our responsibility as, as an organization that procures a lot. We procure energy, we travel, we build, we think about our own estate. So, and that is things that are all very similar to the ways that governments around the world are operating and thinking about, about carbon as well. So, so to get to our 2030 to be carbon negative, we have our internal carbon fee and that's really driving a lot of our activity. But we also recognize that actually to get to our largest scale target by 2050, or removing carbon from the atmosphere equivalent to everything back to 1975, that is going to rely on technologies that actually do not exist yet. So we are setting a target, which we actually don't know how we're going to get all the way there, but to help us get that we have committed to funding a billion dollars into a CA carbon innovation fund.

And that billion dollars is going to be accelerating the development of carbon reduction and removal technologies. And so that, in addition to what we're doing in 10 years, a really important investment for us. Of course, we're going to be working across our supply chain. Of course, we're going to be thinking about how we invest, how we procure, where we're, using energy and those renewable energy sources. So that those form, how we are, how we are managing and consuming our energy. And within our organization, the voice of employees is really important in there.

So as I said, there's 160,000 people plus that worked for Microsoft a little bit less than the government of Canada, but similar to lots of governments around the world. So we really, all of us, as employees, as a Microsoft employee are all being asked to be involved in this effort. And I think that's been really interesting because what I found since I've been at Microsoft, I've only been here six months, is that people are very mission-driven, people working for this company because they want to help out this move forward. And, and there's people here who feel incredibly passionate about sustainability and our responsibility as a company to drive that forward. So bringing in employees and really engaging everybody as part of this effort is a really crucial part of that.

And then finally, we, we recognize the voice that we have as a very large company in the world. So we are proactively trying to engage people in these discussions outside of our own areas. So, we work with governments. We look at working with the UN and the ABCD, other international forums to really speak how and drive interest and activity on sustainability policies based on climate, on ecosystems and a waste of water. And it's an interesting thing to me, as somebody from government who is new into this private sector company, this very large policy department that we have in Tenley and Microsoft, which sets these targets and then which drives this push on adoption.

And that's one of the reasons why we're so excited when we have this workshop today to be able to pick a topic and choose what we wanted to form it around. We chose sustainability because we really feel like this is an area where we have to come together, where there are people in government, whether you were in the private sector, whether you're in an international organization to work out how to drive this agenda forward. So I am going to pause that, and I'm going to hand it to Mark Levene. I'm really excited to hear about what the digital nations have been working on.

I was involved in digital nations in the past, and I, I heard the minister's introductory remarks at FWD50 a couple of days ago and had a real focus on sustainability. So Mark over to you, and just good to know what you've been working on. Thanks very much, Olivia.

My name is Mark Levene. I'm the lead for the district government partnership team in the office of the chief information officer of the government of Canada. I'm Canada's lead to the digital nations. This has been quite a week for us and the government of Canada and for the digital nations, we were proud to host the seventh annual ministerial summit of this group. Which also includes Denmark, Estonia, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom and Uruguay. It was a lot of fun organizing a wholly virtual summit and a lot of work, but we think it turned out really well.

I'd like to give you a bit of context, and explain a bit how government works in regards to some environmental sustainability work. I want to show sort of how a few people could have some agency and move things along very quickly. I think the context will probably help a bit.

This time last year, Olivia and I were on a series of planes making multiple hops on our way back from the Uruguay summit in Montevideo. As we were beginning to think about how we would prioritize digital nations summit candidates to chair this year, I don't think any of us thought that sustainability would have such a central place in the agenda or in our conversations. I told this story yesterday at another session, but it all started rather innocently. The year summit was within a week of our federal elections last year. And we got a brand new minister for digital government, the first standalone minister for digital government. And they got rid of Canada.

Those of you who caught Joyce Murray's keynote yesterday will know how much environmental issues figure in her background and in our mentality. As good public servants, we started to try and get ahead of this. I had my team start digging around and seeing what other international peers were doing on UN linking environmental sustainability in digital government. And I started looking just for simple solutions. The first thing I tried was to find within the government of Canada where you to offset plane trips with buying carbon offsets. And I, I really couldn't find a good way to do that.

And, and I was frustrated a little, but that frustration quickly subsided when we started looking at, in fact, other government departments within the government of Canada were doing a lot on environmental sustainability. And those of you who are still on the call, Brian from Shared Services Canada, heard a bit about this yesterday as well. And then we had the pandemic.

So everybody went home and we started really paying attention to what other company countries were doing in tying their economic recovery plan to environmental issues. And we saw the phrase green recovery over and over again among our digital nations peers. And Canada itself was doing that, which was reflected in our Regent speech from the throne where we have green recovery embedded in that as well. And we started to look at the facts. So at present the ICT industry's carbon footprint contributes 1.4% of overall global emissions.

And by 2025, some experts are predicting that this number will rise to 8% that's on par with automobiles. So throughout the late spring, we started to do even more and more research. This was becoming an important element and we tried to build some momentum within digital nations to do some collaborative work.

We even thought about trying to adapt our digital nation's charter to include a line of sustainability, but then some other members pointed it out, helpfully that maybe we should do some work before we put it in the charter. So we did this, that we came up with the idea of forming a thematic group within digital nations on linking digital government and environmental sustainability. And we started to work.

So we took advantage of our prerogative as chair to do this, and we got it done quick quickly, and we started doing some research amongst our 10 countries. It was great to see that how agile we could all be. At the same time, the CIO of the government of Canada also asked us to come up with some recommendations within our digital governance here within the government of Canada.

That was almost the same week we struck our international working group. So there was definitely some zeitgeists going on around resilience and environmental sustainability and digital government. And we took full advantage of that.

Our first item of work within the thematic group was to develop an overview and environmental scan to pardon the pun, on what was going on in different countries. And I'll give a brief summary of that in a second. So first of all, I'll start with Canada. So we have a greening government strategy that seeks to reduce environmental impact of government operations. It includes, of greening ambition for IT investments when we hope to reduce government offering patients emissions by 40% by 2030, and aim for net zero by 2050. South Korea has a green procurement system where each government institution or is required to create a green public procurement target and implementation plan.

The United Kingdom has implemented a greening government sustainable technology strategy that includes targets. Denmark has an agency for government it services that is advancing a strategy on sustainable data centers. And we'll announce a new Danish national strategy for green procurement in the coming weeks.

And finally, Portugal has a national strategy for green public procurement and its public service. Digital transition has a green lens as well. We had a lot of discussions around sustainability and digital government during our summit this week. And we held a session to look into our key challenges and also the opportunities. Let me spend a couple of minutes to talk about the challenges.

So this one will probably be familiar to many of you listening in today. There's a general lack of data, or at least an understanding of the data that we have specifically on how to identify the highest emitting sources of technology that our governments use and own and manage. You can't manage what you can't measure. We're really struggling to figure out our baselines for measuring future success.

This is an issue across many streams of work, but it's particularly one that we're having as well. There's also distributed responsibilities and accountabilities across departments. Governments are complex beasts and different departments and agencies have different authorities and responsibilities when it comes to environmental sustainability. And in looking at digital government, this is a large issue across all 10 of our digital nations. And finally there's a lack of centralized policies, government and greening IT and green procurement, again, distributed responsibilities, hamper this but we're trying to get gathered the right people in the right rooms and have the right conversations.

Looking forward, we identified a series of activities that we can do over the next year. So number one is we'd like to create a taxonomy of greening government IP to create a common understanding of what it is and where we need to go. We really need to define our scope.

We're also thinking about creating shared principles on approaches to green in government IT, so that we're all working from common principles and common standards. We're doing an environmental scan. There's a lot of international standards right now. And we're seeing which of those are applicable to government, which will be helpful. And whether or not we need to do additional work to build new standards for the work that we're doing.

We really want to share and compare approaches to procurement. Government are very large procures of information technology. We work with vendors ranging from Microsoft and Amazon and Apple to small and medium enterprises as well. And we'd like to have a holistic approach to all of that procurement.

We really want to share information received from vendors to compare methodologies and pricing. And as I said, we want to identify greening it standards that already exists within the digital nation and internationally, and then explore potential opportunities to build off of. Overall, we discussed the need to continue to share our common challenges and solutions in order to help each other. And I think here is the huge opportunity that our digital government skillset can really help us move the bar forward. This includes taking advantage of data and artificial intelligence.

And I know this is an area where Microsoft has a lot to offer, and we also want to live our digital standard, including working in the open, being agile and keeping the user in mind. To conclude, I want to encourage you to check out Canada's digital nations website on, and to keep an eye on continuing progress in this space. And we look forward to continuing to collaborate with the public and the private sector to advance this important work. Thank you very much for inviting me and bow back over to Olivia. That was great.

Thanks Mark. And I think, that, that scan that has been done already is, it's just, it's so important because I think one of the pieces that's, that's important here is governments aren't in competition with each other. And we see that as such a powerful force within a lot of the digital government conversations that, that learning that openness, that reusing things that work is, it's just the way to move things forward, much more quickly.

We have, a couple of minutes for questions here. So if you're watching this and you have anything you'd like to ask either Mark or myself, please do pop it into the chat now. And I think, one of my reflections Mark on some of the things you've said is that we have to be moving with pace. In this area, we have to be driving these things forward.

So the more that, that kind of common ecosystem can come together and share learnings, I think that will help us all move forward. Because I think from our perspective, we've got some, we've got some great things we think are great approaches and in great directions that we don't by any means things that we have all of the answers to these questions. So we're really looking for where can we, where can we be pushing other people to move quickly, but also where can we be? Where can we be learning? Ian, I'm going to invite you to come back in and join us, the last few minutes.

Any reflections or questions from your side? Well, I guess one of the things that I- and, and by the way, Mark, I apologize for bumbling your introduction. First of all, I want to thank you for your championship of open government. As a citizen and in particular leading our relationship and this collaboration with other governments, that I think not enough people know about this story. I'm excited that this is a website. I was wondering if you could tell the audience a bit more about the digital nations, how that came about, how did Canada get involved and, I'd love to hear more about that.

Sure, so the digital nation group started by five of the member countries. I think it was in 2014, although Olivia might correct me, then say it was 2015. And, recently it's grown from 5 to 10, so it's really a group of small like-minded middle powers.

We're, we're all, someone said earlier this week, we're all country set to live next to a big giant, whether it's Russia or China or the United States of America. But we all have the goal of using really the power of technology to improve the way that we deliver products and services to our citizens and residents of our countries. We have a series of thematic working groups. So there's one on data. There's one on artificial intelligence. There's my group on greening digital government.

And then there's one on digital identity, which has a better verifying connection. So people only have to tell the government their tombstone information once and not repeat that information website after website, after website. We usually have a couple of meetings a year, but we have lots of group chats. And I think that the secret sauce of the digital nations does the fact that I can just send a text to any of our nine other member countries one day and have access to expertise on within their governments within hours.

It's a great group of people. We have really good connections with each other, and it's a fantastic way to get really good access to expertise and, and share knowledge across 10 countries around the world. Well, that's so exciting. I do remember in the early days of digital government in Canada, someone in government explaining to me that we, I had, at that point visited the GDS and I was like, Hey, are we talking with anybody over there? And I was told, Ian, you have to understand Canada's complicated and different.

And, you know, we have different government and, you know, we have to figure this out on our own. And it's amazing to me how much, over the decade, that has shifted. And this collaboration is just really exciting. And, through FWD50, these last three years, I think we've seen a lot of those digital nations, collaborators really, come to Canada and share their learnings and meet many of us and educate us. And it's been such a fantastic experience.

And FWD50 and the digital nations summit always seem to overlap. And this year is the perfect confluence where we're actually using FWD50 to our advantage. But, but for other summits we've been in Montevideo or Israel or other countries and not being able to attend FWD50. So it's great to combine the two, this year for the first time. Yeah, it seems like almost a, a, a happy consequence of the timing and, you know, making the best of our situation with the pandemic that you were able to do that, that's phenomenal.

It was planned. That's phenomenal. Thank you, Mark.

That's really cool. So I know we're getting to the end of our first half hour and we've got a really exciting, I believe a little bit more interactive group workshop that's going to happen, coming soon. And so I was thinking if there aren't any other questions we can switch gears and I can start introducing our next session. And it looks like I got the green light to do so. So with that, I want to thank very much Olivia and Mark for a really fascinating session on government sustainability and, and on that digital nations collaboration.

Thank you so much. And let's get to our workshop. Thanks Ian. You're welcome.

Great to meet you. And so our next session, next part of our session is going to really be about workshop and this, I just can't wait to sit back and, and, and enjoy how, how this is going to go. Apparently we're going to use a tool called Klaxoon. If that doesn't get your attention, I don't know what will. We've got a team of digital advisors from Microsoft who are gonna lead us through this process. And I'm going to introduce them now.

I'm going to start with Pauline Martin, who is responsible for government healthcare in Canada. I have a great respect in particular for not just the challenges of government, but healthcare in particular, as I've done a bit of work in that sector. And, it's really, humbling how, how, how challenging and how important the problems being solved, there are. I wanted to share, something I want to share about Pauline is she's apparently been reading books every day, in this, in this pandemic. And, my understanding is they're made of a technology called printing on ink and paper.

So anyway, it sounds really cool. And then, Chris, we're going to also have, be joined by Christiane Coda, who is a digital advisor for Microsoft and has apparently been learning Italian and Chinese. We also have Marc-André Morisset who is going to be, is also digital advisor at Microsoft and has been getting really actively involved in education of his kids. And with art and animation, and I hear French poetry, and it sounds like you're really, quite the Renaissance pandemicist.

And finally, the person who's going to kick this off with us is Dalila Haidar who, also digital adviser, and what caught my attention, is, has a background in microbiology which, which I share a background in microbiology. And has been painting by numbers, which is something I remember vaguely from many decades ago. And sounds really cool.

So, thank you so much to all four of you for joining us, first of all. And really excited about this interactive session. And I will hand it over to Dalila to take us through what we're about to experience. Thank you, Ian. Good afternoon, everyone. And welcome to the sustainability workshop.

As Ian presented me, I'm Dalila, Haidar. I'm a digital advisor with Microsoft and will be conducting the session today with the three of my colleagues: Christiane, Pauline and Marc-André. Although we miss the human touch and all of us were potentially looking forward to seeing each other in person and not hold this conference virtually, but in one way or another, I think that the pandemic has shown us that we can leverage technology to drive a positive environmental impact, right. So, we're here today to make the session an interactive one. So we will ask for your active participation via the chat window and via your smartphone. So let me start by kicking this off quickly with a poll question for you.

Hopefully you can see my screen. And the question should also be in the chat window. So, do you measure the impact that your department has in the environment today? And so quickly in the chat I'd like you to just put number one, two or three. Number one is for yes, you measure impact today. Two is no.

And three is that sounds good, but I don't know where to start. So I'll give you a few minutes there to start putting the numbers in the chat. And my team will help us, grabbing those numbers.

Threes. We're seeing a lot of threes. You don't know where to start. Mostly three.

Awesome. Okay. So hopefully today you'll learn a little bit more about how to get things done. So you just heard from my colleague, Olivia Neal, talk about Microsoft's commitment to sustainability. And, you know, this topic is very broad and top of mind for most of you, I presume.

And, since we only have almost an hour together, what we will do in this session is to start to lay the foundation on how to think about sustainability within your department. So to reiterate quickly, Microsoft's commitment to sustainability is across the four pillars, which are carbon, water, waste and ecosystem. And what you see on the screen here is our publicly announced commitment across those four pillars that Olivia mentioned.

But then you may ask that's great Microsoft, but how can you help me meet my sustainability goals? Well, as you know, we have less than 10 years to make an impact for climate change, and it's definitely a journey. But we must, we must start today. So the first building block is to be green by default. So our commitment to you is that all of our products and services will have built in benefits that are derived from our sustainability commitments and the work to achieve them.

That can be quantified both in terms of environmental and economic impacts, because we believe that what is good for the planet is good for the business. The second piece that you will benefit from is a, yet to be developed technology solutions, to be able to do three things. And this is basically what all of our customers are asking us for help me measure helped me monitor and help me manage to lower the impact of carbon across my value chain.

And ultimately, the vision is the partner with which each and every one of you to start to innovate and create new sustainability related products and services to help our customers and citizens change their behavior. Christiane, over to you. Thank you Dalila.

So we know that moving your work close to the cloud provides significant efficiency improvements, and it allows us to be more innovative. It allows us to experiment more, and it also allows us to have that undo button, which is not necessarily available when you buy infrastructure only to find out that maybe you didn't acquire the right solution. It provides that flexibility, but in trying to be more sustainable, customers have asked us to help them create a baseline to understand current missions, how current missions help them drive to a sustainability improvements. And customers want to understand if moving to the cloud is more sustainable than running those services in their own premises data centers. Well, we listened and we built the Microsoft sustainability calculator.

So this is a view of the calculator. And what you're seeing here is a dashboard that provides an overall view of emissions. Start creating your baseline. You're going to select the efficiency of your on-premise infrastructure. So today for that, you have a choice of low, medium and high. And the difference between those is really about the size of the data center and the mix of physical to virtual resources, as well as attached to dedicated resources that you have in that data center.

Most data centers will probably fall in the medium to high range because of the heavy use of virtualized resources that we have today. Here you see where the calculator reports gross emissions from your on-premises consumption in metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, and it provides estimates of the emissions that you saved from not running those services in your on premises data center. And of course it provides you with the view of how the savings have then translated into environmental benefits and positively impacted your organization, your organization's sustainability metrics. If you look at the bottom left-hand side, you see a breakdown in the emissions based on your Azure services. And you'll note that compute and storage are some of the most carbon intensive areas. On the right-hand side, we also provide you with the ability to explore your consumption data based on the region where your cloud services are running and on a per month basis.

It's really important note that when you buy these cloud services, Microsoft invest in renewable energy that is equivalent to the volume of energy required to run those services. So what that means is that portion of money that you've paid is re reinvested in renewable energy projects all around the world. And at the top of the dashboard, what you see is a, an FAQ link, for frequently asked questions and it provides additional information on how the CA the calculator calculator derives its results.

And it includes answers to some of the common questions that, the customers who have been using the calculator, have had for us. Next slide. So the calculator itself provides some good functionality today to provide, to produce baseline measurements of your consumption, and it's going to continue to evolve. And what you see here are some of the enhancements that we have planned as part of our roadmap.

So the first thing is that currently with the calculator only enterprise agreements, customers can use it, but we will be making it accessible to CSP and pay as you go customers. And we've been asked to provide the capability to forecast admissions of future workloads you plan to put in the cloud. So that should be coming soon as well.

We've also been asked to extend, the support for SAS workloads because many customers are moving from on-prem office products, for instance, to the cloud. Well, what's the impact on the environment for that? And then, well, certainly we provide more granularity by allowing customers to get calculate emissions based on specific Azure subscriptions. Okay, so migrating to IT services, migrating your IT services to the cloud, of course can reduce your carbon footprint and your emissions by 72 to 98% when compared to running those on premises. And of course your mileage will vary depending on where your data center is located and you know, your, your access to renewable energies, but you can still use the data that's provided from the calculator, the calculator to include scope three indirect gross emissions in your sustainability and compliance reports.

And at the bottom of this slide, what you see is a link to the calculator and we encourage you to go and explore its capabilities, and that's how we can improve it by having people use it. So now I'm going to ask Pauline to provide, a view on what that means for government. Thanks Chris.

So this is certainly one piece of the puzzle. And I wanted just to talk through a few areas in the conversations we've been having with government organizations in Canada and globally about how this can then be extended to what governments are trying to do from a sustainability context. So, first of all, looking at the sustainability calculator, looking at how Microsoft is reporting our own carbon footprint and how we're setting our own targets, it means we can measure. When we can measure something, we can report it. Transparently, governments have targets, they have green goals and they're published.

In many cases they're very far out. How do we publish gradually and report our results as we make changes in our programs concrete quantifiable numbers. This sustainability calculator is one of those ways and we can show progress from that baseline.

Marc and Olivia both began with the start of what we measure, we can improve. Until we know how to measure it, we've got to start somewhere. So let's measure a baseline and move forward. The second point here is we can influence for greater impact through our supply chain and through our value chain. So supply chain, Mark spoke a little bit about a green procurement plan and a green procurement strategy. Microsoft has written a sustainability goals into our code of conduct with our suppliers.

We are supporting them as we equally ask them to report their carbon footprint. We extend our own carbon tax to include the footprint of our suppliers and the choices we're making. And we aim to help them improve on their baseline on the value chain side. From a Microsoft perspective, we're talking about changes we're making to our products and how our citizens and how our customers use them. In a government context, we can look at something, you know, as large as COVID coming through and having us move our citizen services online, we can measure the sustainability impact of that. Of a citizen not having to get in the car and drive to a Service Canada office, for example, can we measure that? Can we report that? And if you look at work from home governments now, having been forced to work from home, we expect it's going to go back to a hybrid as the new normal look at the travel that can be saved.

How do we measure that? How do we measure the impact of using collaborative digital tools, such as Microsoft teams? We can innovate with our wealth of data. So, customer, organizations such as Natural Resources Canada has so much natural resource earth sciences data that we can work from in collaboration with industry government education, small, medium business, to help solve some of these problems and solve some of these big challenges. And we can motivate our citizens and businesses we work with, jurisdictions and our global partners simply by taking action and offering up opportunities to work together on some really challenging and very important problems. If you could go to the next slide, please Dalila. And one of the ways we collaborate, recognizing that no one organization, no one government, no one company on the planet is going to be able to solve these big challenges.

Microsoft is investing $50 million in a program called AI for earth. It combines environmental science, data, computer power, cloud and artificial intelligence resources that we bring to those organizations who are focused on challenging, situations for agriculture biodiversity, climate change and water. And we're looking to invent, to innovate and to scale for the greater benefit. That's just one way that we can engage together around some of these challenges that are so critical right now. I'm going to hand the floor to Marc-André who's going to take us through our next interactive workshop exercise.

Thank you, Pauline. So far we've presented Microsoft's approach towards specific environmental sustainability goals through water, carbon, waste and ecosystem commitments that serve as a very sound foundation and presenting some capabilities that you can draw on. But for this interactive segment, we did invite you to look beyond the environmental goals as a reference.

The UN sustainable development goals also described societal development and goals related to poverty, hunger, health, and wellbeing, education, and energy. And even beyond that, economic sustainability goals include gender equality, economic growth, innovation, reducing inequality, sustainable communities, responsible consumption, peace and justice, and all realized through partnerships. We all have a role to play in driving towards sustainability in this mosaic. The question we would post to you in this interactive segment is then what does sustainability mean to you.

With this question in mind, I'd like to help re-energize you this afternoon and pull you into the discussion, using a tool called Klaxoon. For those of you who are not familiar with it, Klaxoon is simple to use and foster smart teamwork. It also won Microsoft partner of the year award in 2020 for app solutions for Microsoft teams.

To include you in this discussion, I would invite you to turn on the camera on your smartphone and scan the QR code that Dalila is presenting. If your smartphone isn't nearby or it's out of reach, I would simply say, you're welcome for helping you engage in mindful movement and helping you achieve your step goals for the day. Seriously, if you don't have a smartphone handy, simply type your answers into the session chat, and we'll incorporate your comments into the experience with the use of magic.

It's not magic. But it's gonna seem like magic. I'm going to demonstrate a little bit how this works. So I've grabbed my, my, my, my smartphone and I turned the camera on and I'm going to scan this QR code and I'm going to be asked to open Klaxoon, which seems like a sound invitation. And when I opened Klaxoon, it's going to ask me for a nickname.

I'll remember the terms of service and consent that I did. I'll click on join. I agree to participate. And I admire this board that we have and that we will use to all interact together.

I see this plus button here, which is where I'm going to start entering my ideas. And now may I add, what does sustainability mean to me? Well sustainability mean for me, is knowing that my children's children will have clean rivers, lakes and oceans to discover. And I'm going to post that. I'm going to post that and I'm going to bring that in, into our, into our frame. And we'll be able to, we'll be able to all discuss together and, see as the, your, your ideas come in, as your thoughts come in. We'll be able to see what tapestry we can create together.

Again, if you don't have access to your smartphone, what does sustainability mean to you? Put that in the chat and we will convert those over. If you have ideas, don't, don't stop at one, go for volume. Let's see if the wisdom of crowds can be, can be exercised in this and let's see how many ideas.

We can come together when we consider environmental, societal and economic opportunities on the sustainability front and see how many ideas we can generate. I know, clean water, that sort of stuff. Finding a, striking a balance between in person and remote work to help reduce. Oh, great ideas. We've got some ideas coming in here now.

Leaving the world better than when it started. Brilliant, brilliant. Being stewards of our environment.

Brilliant. Seven generations, oh like that. That's great. There's something to this crowd business, I'm telling you, we should do this more.

I'm going to put some music to get their creative juices flowing a little bit more Sustainability means even adventure, oh yeah, adventure driven computing. Well done. Think twice before consuming. Brilliant.

Thank you all. Leaving the planet better than when we found it. Nice. That's a nice theme that we've got coming on. You're future-proofing.

Yes, indeed. Yes, indeed. Feel free to pick any color you like too. We've got a lot of pink.

It's not that I don't like pink. Pink is a fine color, but there are others. Balance with the environment. Ensure enjoyment for future generations. Fantastic.

Making a better place starting with nature. Yes. Yes. Making growth inclusive of everyone. That's powerful. Thank you for sharing.

Nature and humans are one and can co-exist and help one another. I like that. Reduce the carbon footprint. And we've seen some great tools and some great approaches to that.

Access to clean water for all countries. Yes, indeed. Planting trees. I, I can't agree more. The longterm viability of a system process and operation. Yes.

It's good to have the long view begin with the end in mind. Thinking and acting proactively. Thank you for sharing that. To ensure we consider the impacts of our actions. Excellent. There is a familiar slogan: reduce, reuse, recycle.

I'm not sure about going back to the horse and buggy, but I think if we explore that, we'll find something. Laisser une planète plus verte à mes enfants. En effet, en effet.

Build to evolve instead of being thrown away and replaced. Yeah. Planned obsolescence. There's something there.

We only have one earth and we can't waste it. True, true. Living our ways in the way that we have a positive impact on the environment. A growth mindset: challenge our assumptions every day. Working to incorporate the progress of today with the innovation of tomorrow.

Fantastic. Upcycling. I want to know more about upcycling. Better use of ressources. I think we'll leave this scope for another minute before we move into our next segment.

Yes. Always consider the environmental sustainability, always. One world health. Excellent.

I think we can see that this is a topic that we're all passionate about. Slowing down change in the growth model and capitalism. Yes, and I think we've seen responsible capitalism teams come, taking responsibility and not just externalizing costs.

Well done. Well done. Yes. Being open to using biological processes to inform technological innovation. Learn from mother nature. Perfect.

Well, I'd like to thank you all for engaging in this and participating. I think we've really, we have a Testament to the wisdom of crowds here. With that, I would like to hand things back to Dalila for our next interactive segment. Awesome.

Okay, so we thank you Marc-André. We talked about, what does sustainability mean to you? When we think about your department, when we think about the public sector, there are, across the four areas where Microsoft is very active, which is carbon, water, waste and ecosystem. What you see on the screen is some of the key outcomes. I know in the interest of time today, we won't have time to ideate through the four of them. So we will pick the top two that we think are the most relevant for you, which are carbon or energy and water.

So to start things off again, I'm going to redirect you to the Klaxsoon board, with another barcode, and think about some of the key outcomes with relates to carbon. So key outcomes relating to carbon. Some of the public sector customers are telling us, for us it's important to reduce the total and per capita energy consumption, reduce the greenhouse gas emissions across all three scopes and increase the contribution to green power. But maybe there's other things that are interesting and important for you.

So here's another barcode, to scan with your phone, to get into our next board. And I will navigate through this quickly. And you're gonna be presented with another type of board.

So I'll give you a few seconds to connect. All right. Awesome.

For those who have missed the barcode on the presentation, we've put it back in here. What we will do is we will use typical design thinking methodology, which is called the rose, thorn and bud. So think about, we posted here, what carbon outcomes or measurement you'd like to see within your specific department and think about what's really working well for you today.

What are the things that we're doing well? What are the positives that are happening? Some of the initiatives that you're taking and it can be as little as, hey, we, we did like the really basic things, turning off the lights when we leave a room or things like that. Some of the weaknesses. What are the biggest challenges that you face today when you want to think about sustainability related to the carbon pillar? And then I'll invite you to change the color of the sticky note to green, to ideate a little bit about the buds. And the buds are really the potentials and the opportunities that you see and where you would need help in the future. So we have about 10 minutes.

So again, pink sticky notes are the positives. The blue ones are some of the challenges and the weaknesses. And the greens are some of the opportunities that you see. We may need to make the board a little bit bigger, because I've seen a lot of ideas coming through in the first session. So I'm hoping to see some of these ideas coming through. And some of the ideas I'm going to ask some of the participants that are posting them to provide a little bit more details through perhaps another sticky note.

So I see here, lack of a baseline. Can someone, perhaps the person that posted the sticky note, help me understand what is the baseline that you're, that you feel that is the most challenging here. Perfect. Some of the people are saying telework is one of the positives that we're doing today. And think about, when you think about telework, how was that going to be translated post pandemic because one day or another, hopefully this pandemic will be over and people are going to start to think about how we go back to work and really work in the office.

Is it a hybrid model? What are some of the opportunities that you think about when we think about the telework? Avoiding paper use or reducing paper processes. That's great. These are a lot of things that you're currently doing. Awesome.

These are very positive things. Turning off the laptops when they're not in use. That's a very good practice, both from energy consumption and from IT security as well. Okay. Being asked to be in the office when collaboration requires me to engage over the phone from my desk.

Okay. So some people are still going to the office. Okay.

So, what are the lack, the lack of data and some of the negatives. Can you tell me about potential ways that we could help you fix that issue? Where is the lack of data that you see today in your department? Oh, I'm starting to see ideas flowing here. Okay.

So to clarify the baseline is that it's the figuring out where we're starting right now. We don't have always accurate reading on our greenhouse emissions as they are currently. Absolutely. This is something that most of our customers also are asking us to help with. Some departments are, don't have digital processes. Okay.

We have someone in our agriculture. That's awesome. So when we think about regenerative agriculture- French is my first language, so there's some words that I just can't pronounce.

Tell me a little bit more about what does it mean to you to have regenerative agriculture, please? Okay. So starting to have the data to understand where we can have an impact, where would you like to have an impact? Specifically, if you can give me a little bit more details about what are the areas, where would you like to have an impact? I read a few things that are building our lease. So perhaps, you know, throughout the building, it's not something that we could really impact, but think about the whole value chain. Think about what are the specific things that we could potentially impact.

And pleased, one thing that I want to ask you is if everything was possible, you know, we're trying here to create the best scenario. What'd you say, what do we call it? Blue sky thinking. If money, resources and no obstacles there, I know we're putting a lot of blue sticky notes. I want to see more in the green. What are the possibilities and opportunities that, you know, if I dream of this world, this is what it would look like for me in my department. Partnering with experts who have the technology.

Okay. City-based horizontal farming. Awesome. There's a lot of great ideas in here.

Internal operational efficiencies. Okay, looking through. Wow. We're getting a lot of things coming through. I like the require companies to have Paris 2050 targets.

That really talks about, you know, ensuring that your suppliers and their suppliers are also, moving in the right direction. Same direction as you are. Perfect. Yeah. I will give you one more minute and then we're going to switch to the next activity and do the same exercise across water.

Any final thoughts that we have? Okay. So we're going to switch to the next board. And we're going to talk about an ideate around water. So I will display the barcode again in here. Give you a few seconds to come in. Awesome.

Okay. Again, when it comes to water, a lot of the same as carbon, which is how we can reduce water consumption, increase water, recycling, and reduce some of the leakage and waste and storage and transmission of water. Maybe this applies to your department, maybe it doesn't, but it certainly applies to all of us as citizens as well. So think about some of the outcomes that are detailed down here in terms of water distribution and analysis, sanitary and combined sewer management, flood risk assessment and mitigation and environmental monitoring. What are the things that are going really well today in your department? And what are the other things that could have some improvement? And what are the challenges? What really drives you crazy? I want to hear about and read about all of this in the session. Reducing paper processes.

Yes, definitely. Don't kill trees. Don't use water to make paper. We'll go for about another five to six minutes.

So I see there's 20 people on the board already. Awesome. Digitizing records. Yes. Yep.

The automation in public washrooms. That's a challenge. So, think about some of the opportunities there. I really liked the opportunity around the rain water collection. Yes.

Eating less meat. Yes. This whole veganism is definitely a big trend.

Yes. So, is there potentially an opportunity to, with the use of technology to start to monitor some of the water waste that we have in the buildings? Yup. Sensors. I see faucets without sensors. Yes.

Oh, I love the one around food distribution. Yes, the use of AI. Especially when you think about water bottles and things like that, trying to reduce, recycle the water and.. Plastic reduction. Yep. Definitely.

All of the four areas of sustainability are all interrelated with one another. So, I love the tree planting reward program. I think everything that we do should be celebrated. Definitely. Like we mentioned, we only have 10 years to make an impact to have a planet to live on. So what are the things that you would like to monitor in terms of, when we think about the water.

Yes. So the pesticide season is really something big. Then a lot of people are opting for one of the organic way of consuming. Definitely. The sensors. I mean, sensors are a great way to capture, you know, exactly what you're using and what you're maybe wasting, out of that too.

Having the data is the first way. This, having that data is, is the, is the, is the method to start measuring these baselines, right? So sensors are a great way to do that. I love the sensors faucet installed in sinks in the workplace that allows you to know how much water is wasted or even in the drinkable water.

You, you know how like you see today in airports, how many liters of water do people, more and more people are walking around with fillable bottles of water, right? Well, there are university institutions that have banned water bottles altogether, and they only provide water, dispensers? I'm French too, so sometimes the words don't come to you. Yeah. Okay. Awesome.

I'll give you 2 more minutes. Data is at the heart of everything. Definitely.

When we talk about AI, everything around smart sensors, et cetera, is to really drive the data around that, to really understand how, where we are today and how can we manage and, keep going. Okay. Do we have, 30 more seconds before closing? Okay. No more ideas.

Okay. We'll go to closing. Christiane? I'm sorry. I'm right here.

So, so today, we gave you a preview of how we begin the envisioning process to solve these real problems. And it really starts with generating ideas from diverse areas. Once we've identified the positive aspects, the challenges or thorns and the opportunities, the buds, we gain a better understanding of the scope of the problem that we're trying to solve.

And when we group these elements together and prioritize them and then pick the ones that we really want to develop further to design and build solutions to solve. So sustainability problems, we were getting closer to, to our goal. Now we were able to start ideation around carbon and water today, but we can do the same thing for waste for ecosystems and Microsoft, Microsoft itself, and its partners are happy to help you along that journey in achieving sustainability, by leveraging design thinking and finding creative ways to solve these issues with technologies. So we hope you enjoyed our session. And, if you would like to learn more, we have included our contact information on the slide here, and we look forward to joining you on your sustainability journey. So Ian, back to you.

Well, hi there. And wow. That was really interesting. I was very, very curious what, what this, what this tool was going to be.

And I've now realized that I should probably use it every day with the people I work with. That was really amazing. Thank you to everyone who, who was, who was supporting that.

I'm just taking a look at the, at the channel just to make sure we don't have any questions. It looks like we do not have any remaining questions. And we followed up with the, the, the white paper on the carbon benefits of cloud computing, which, should be a really interesting take home to read. And with that, I want to thank all of our speakers and facilitators for a really interesting session. And I, I wanted to maybe call out what I thought was just an amazing concept, which is that maybe when I use digital platforms in cloud computing, it will be possible that the plot use of the platform will actually fight climate change.

And that, the notion of negative emissions, really captured the imagination. Thank you very much olivia for that, for that insight. And with that, I'd like to thank all of our guests, all of our speakers. And, we'll, we'll wrap it up a little bit early and look, give people time to grab a coffee and a bathroom break before they go to their next sessions. With that, I will mention as, as the speakers are welcome back onto the screen, thank you for coming back.

I want to mention that the next session at 3:00 PM on channel four, for the conference, is going to be about adopting open source in the public sector, which is a really interesting topic. So I hope to see you there. And with that, I will thank deeply Dalila.

Thank you, that was really a fascinating facilitation, thanks for leading us through that. Christiane, Pauline and Macrc-André, that was really, really an amazing collaboration. I think you showed us all a little bit how we can improve how we collaborate online at the same time.

I certainly have that as a takeaway and with that, we will let the audience go. Thank you to our speakers and hopefully see you at 3:00 PM. Merci, aurevoir. Merci beaucoup. Merci.

2021-01-12 15:59

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