Matthew Sekol is the Global ESG and Sustainability Advisor at Microsoft. Matthew has over 20 years of experience in storytelling, pioneering disruptive strategies, and influencing transformation by unpacking and clarifying organizational risks and opportunities to senior stakeholders. In addition to serving as an advisor at Microsoft, Matthew is an ESG speaker and writer who has co-authored whitepapers on ESG data rating agencies and data aggregation as well as financial services and biodiversity. He is also the creator of The ESG Advocate newsletter. In recognition of Matthew’s work, Onalytica has included him among their Who’s Who in ESG in 2023. Matthew holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Penn State University.

Matthew joins us today to discuss Microsoft’s deep commitment to Environmental, Social, and Governance principles and sustainability. He details the company’s strategies for reducing carbon emissions and achieving a net-zero water footprint and highlights how Microsoft’s technology—such as real-time transcription and translation—makes digital content accessible to diverse communities. Matthew also explains how Microsoft ensures Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion within its workforce and supplier ecosystem and offers advice on how small companies can build durable ESG programs in their operations and collaborations

“I hope that, like Microsoft, more bigger companies will do engagement over divestment; that means putting together things like training programs and transparency to enable our suppliers to meet goals.” – Matthew Sekol

This week on Breaking Barriers:

  • Matthew’s background and his journey toward ESG
  • Microsoft’s long-term and short-term sustainability goals
  • The vital role technology plays in addressing environmental challenges
  • The role of leadership and culture in driving ESG efforts in organizations like Microsoft
  • The three buckets of sustainability and how ESG efforts benefit Microsoft’s business
  • How Microsoft added accessibility features to Office
  • How Microsoft embeds Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion into performance reviews and how the company supports diverse entrepreneurs
  • What it means to be water positive and how Microsoft invests in water replenishment projects
  • Microsoft’s initiatives to engage and help small and diverse businesses
  • How start-ups and smaller organizations can integrate ESG into their operations or collaborations with other companies

Resources Mentioned:

Connect with Matthew Sekol:


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