Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability Introduces Project ESG Lake

by | Jun 19, 2023

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Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability has introduced Project ESG Lake, a new tool that collects and manages ESG data and reporting. In alignment with the new environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reporting regulations and European Union’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive, the platform can enhance how other companies collect and report their ESG data.

Microsoft Sustainability Manager, with is part of the company’s Cloud for Sustainability platform, is expanding to offer businesses and organizations more visibility as it applies to their environmental impact. Likewise, the new sustainability offering promotes comprehensive ESG data and meets reporting requirements.

What Project ESG Lake Does

Project ESG Lake is designed to help organizations better manage and prepare data, as well as track and advance toward sustainability goals. Microsoft’s new reporting tool adheres to new ESG reporting standards, and with the growing push for artificial intelligence, Project ESG Lake offers a more expansive EDG data model.

The new tool is intended to be a solution to more environmentally-oriented goals, specifically focusing on carbon, water, and biodiversity, to name a few. By using this tool, Microsoft aims to promote a more streamlined approach to collecting and analyzing data. Likewise, Project ESG Lake is designed to gather data from various sources, compile it, and ensure a more centralized data compilation process.

As proposed by Microsoft Sustainability Manager, its new tool allows companies to effectively incorporate Microsoft-related emissions data, including the usage of Microsoft Azure and Microsoft 365, into their ESG data estate. This data can then undergo a transformation and standardization processes using Project ESG Lake’s transformation framework.

Enhanced ESG Reporting Capabilities

To prepare for upcoming regulations and ensure compliance, Microsoft has designed a platform that allows customers to assess their compliance status, monitor required actions, and maintain proper documentation. Project ESG Lake introduces targeted features and a range of prebuilt ESG reporting templates aligned with major regulatory standards and workflows to address these requirements.

One such template is the CSRD template in Microsoft Purview Compliance Manager. Starting in July 2023, users can utilize this template to understand the prerequisites for Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive compliance, based on the preliminary European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS). The ESRS regulations are expected to be finalized in the latter half of 2023. This template will assist organizations in collecting the necessary data for ESRS reporting and will evolve as new standards are adopted.

Additionally, Microsoft Sustainability Manager will offer new capabilities to help organizations collect quantitative emissions, water, and waste data aligned with the preliminary ESRS regulations. This feature enables tracking progress against Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) designations, supporting organizations in their reporting and goal alignment efforts.

With the launch of Project ESG Lake, Microsoft is also introducing a number of other tools and add-ons to increase the benefits and reporting capabilities to ensure accurate sustainability progress.

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