As Microsoft’s first Chief Environmental Officer, Dr. Lucas Joppa leads the development and execution of Microsoft’s sustainability strategy across its worldwide business. In this role, he drives Microsoft’s core commitment to sustainability through ongoing technology innovation, program development, policy advancement, and global operational excellence. With a combined background in both environmental science and data science, Dr. Joppa is committed to using the power of technology to advance a growing movement to address the world’s sustainability needs. Dr. Joppa leads Microsoft’s ambitious plans to become a carbon negative, water positive, zero waste company and to build a new planetary computing platform that will transform the way we monitor, model, and manage Earth’s natural systems.
Recognized by Fortune magazine in its “40 Under 40” list, Dr. Joppa is a uniquely accredited voice for sustainability in the tech industry. With a Ph.D. in Ecology from Duke University and extensive publications in leading academic journals such as Science and Nature, Dr. Joppa brings together subject matter expertise in both environment and technology. In 2020, Clarivate named Dr. Joppa to its Highly Cited Researchers list for “significant and broad influence reflected in their publication of multiple highly cited papers over the last decade.” In addition to formerly serving on the Federal Advisory Committee for the Sustained U.S. National Climate Assessment, Dr. Joppa is an Associate Editor in Chief for the Ecological Society of America’s EcoSphere journal and an honorary Fellow at the UN Environment Program World Conservation Monitoring Center (UNEP-WCMC). He serves on the boards of leading scientific organizations, such as NatureServe and the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) Director’s Council at UC Santa Barbara.
Prior to his current role, Dr. Joppa was Microsoft’s Chief Environmental Scientist and led research programs at the intersection of environmental and computer sciences in Microsoft Research, the company’s blue-sky research division. As part of his work he founded Microsoft’s AI for Earth program —a five-year, $50 million cross-company effort dedicated to delivering technology-enabled solutions to global environmental challenges. Dr. Joppa remains an active scientist, speaking frequently on issues related to artificial intelligence, environmental science, and sustainability. Along with his Ph.D., Dr. Joppa holds a B.S. in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Wisconsin and is a former Peace Corps volunteer to Malawi.
Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America, 2020 | Lucas Joppa presents about how scaling ecological insights is possible by harnessing rapid advances in data collection and storage, the availability of massive computing infrastructure, deep algorithmic advances, and global access to local information and predictions.
Microsoft Innovation, 2019 | "Together, we're solving some of today's toughest environmental challenges while building a solid foundation for a dynamic, globally comprehensive planetary computer.” – Lucas Joppa, Microsoft
IEEE Spectrum, 2019 | “We talk about how to solve climate change. There’s a higher-order question for society: What climate do we want? What output from nature do we desire? If we could agree on those things, we could put systems in place for optimizing our environment accordingly.” – Lucas Joppa, Microsoft
Scientific American, 2019 | “Only when we have a massive amount of planetary data and compute at a similar scale can we begin to answer one of the most complex questions ever posed—how do we manage the earth's natural resources equitably and sustainably to ensure a prosperous and climate-stable future?” – Lucas Joppa, Microsoft
Microsoft Life, 2019 | "His inclination for leaping is what ultimately brought Lucas to Microsoft where he is the company’s chief environmental officer and the brains behind an ambitious idea to use computers to help understand and preserve the natural world."
PwC UK, 2019 | “When it comes to climate change we need to focus less on the cost of doing nothing, and focus more on the environmental and economic benefits of doing something. New PwC research shows how and why.”
– Lucas Joppa, Microsoft