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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Microsoft announced on Tuesday that it is teaming up with Github, Accenture and Thoughtworks to establish a nonprofit aimed at cutting emissions across the software industry.

Why it matters: Software is an overlooked factor partly responsible for driving up carbon emissions from the tech sector. Companies that develop software used across the IT industry, including Microsoft, need to address this in order to fulfill their own ambitious climate goals.

Driving the news: Microsoft announced the foundation Tuesday at its annual Build Developers Conference, noting that in coming years, data centers around the world are projected to account for 3% to 8% of global electricity demand.

  • Software designed withs sustainability in mind could make data centers more efficient, Microsoft execs tell Axios.
  • The foundation, which is open for other companies to join, will aim to develop standards and best practices that teams can follow to make their software consume less energy. It will also look to create opportunities to collaborate across companies.
  • The broader goal is for the foundation to help the technology sector meet a target of cutting its carbon emissions by 45% by 2030.

What they're saying: "No one company can do this alone. No one individual can do this alone," Jeff Sandquist, corporate VP of developer relations at Microsoft, tells Axios. "We have to do this a community. so that's why we're really coming together. "

  • Asim Hussain, who is the green cloud advocacy lead at Microsoft and will chair the Green Software Foundation, said the goal is to get sustainability incorporated into the decision-making framework that software developers use each day.
  • "The vision statement for for the foundation is to change the culture of software engineering," he told Axios. "So sustainability becomes a core priority to software teams, because right now when you're building software, you're making 100 trade offs in your mind. You're like, well, I can make it a bit faster but that might actually reduce the security. You're playing these trade offs constantly in your mind," he said.
  • At the end of the day, reducing emissions will depend on achieving cultural change within the software industry, down to the level of each individual engineer, Hussain said.

Go deeper: Microsoft backs direct air capture player Climeworks

Go deeper

The government-industry cyberdefense dance

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

After assembling a team of tough-minded regulators to take on big technology companies, the Biden administration on Wednesday called on many of those same companies to work with the federal government to address a growing wave of cyberattacks.

Driving the news: A White House summit between President Biden and tech leaders Wednesday, including the CEOs of Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft and IBM, concluded with a raft of announcements of new cybersecurity projects and spending plans.

Biden administration to lift travel ban for fully vaccinated international travelers

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients announced on Monday that the Biden administration will allow fully vaccinated travelers from around the world to enter the U.S. beginning in November.

Why it matters: The announcement comes as President Biden seeks commitments from countries to donate vaccines to the global COVAX initiative. He is expected to host a COVID summit on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly this week, and many of the countries attending have expressed frustration with the travel ban.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Gen Z breaks into VC

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

When Meagan Loyst joined VC firm Lerer Hippeau, less than two years out of Boston College, she was still living with her parents. She had virtually no online brand presence, and the pandemic made it impossible to build a professional network via in-person meetings.

Why it matters: Loyst wasn't alone. Venture firms have accelerated hiring in line with record deal activity, often seeking younger investors who can spot trends that fly below the radar (or intrinsic understanding) of older partners.