Design considerations for Microsoft Sustainability Manager

These design considerations for configuring and extending Microsoft Sustainability Manager support the pillars of Well-Architected for Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability.

Configure Microsoft Sustainability Manager

  • The solution includes prebuilt calculation methodologies for scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions with some of the scope 3 categories in preview.
  • The water and waste data models for Cloud for Sustainability are currently in the preview stage and aren't meant for production use at this time.
  • Microsoft Teams collaboration and chat are currently preview features. Collaboration capability requires a Microsoft Teams license.
  • The current value and status of the goals are updated once every day or when new data is brought into the system. You can't adjust the timing of the system update. However, you can manually edit the goal or refresh the goal status.
  • You can't change pre-existing fields on activity data, but you can create new fields to extend the existing tables.
  • When you create a goal record, you can update the current value manually or automatically as per the configuration. The maximum frequency for automatic updates is once per day.
  • The solution doesn't support the calculation of the same activity data using two or more calculation methods.
  • Efficiencies and changes in an activity can impact emission factors, so it’s important to constantly update the factors based on the latest standards and research.

Extend Microsoft Sustainability Manager

  • Microsoft Sustainability Manager strictly adheres to the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol, so you can't add new scope 1, 2, and 3 emission sources.
  • Out of the box calculation models can’t be modified but you can copy and create your own models.
  • Emissions calculation formulas are based on the GHG Protocol. You can only modify quantity values. You can’t extend the calculation engine.
  • You can't customize managed data fields, but you can extend the data model with new fields.
  • You can extend the data model with custom tables or add custom fields to existing tables. The Electric Mode table example provides instructions for creating custom tables.
  • You can ingest the new custom table into Dataverse as reference data. However, you can only use the custom table as reference data in calculations via the Power Fx editor.
  • You can extend your solution with Power Platform capabilities, such as AI Builder integration, Power Automate flows and robotic process automation (RPA), new plugins, and canvas apps. Evaluate the need for other licensing in these scenarios.
  • You can create custom Power BI reports in your workspace and embed those reports into Microsoft Sustainability Manager. However, you can't use the analytics data stored in a managed data lake for reporting.
  • You can export data from Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability into other platforms, such as ERP systems, Azure Stream Analytics, Azure Databricks, and any other analytical framework.
  • You can export reduction data, such as scorecards, goals, and check-ins into other platforms.
  • You can customize the Teams collaboration message view to show fields relevant to an organization.
  • You can create custom connectors to integrate with internal or external APIs. Be sure to secure the connectivity to these APIs by Power Platform.
  • Microsoft Sustainability Manager activity data is modeled as virtual tables in Dataverse. Consider virtual table limitations while working with these entities, such as Auditing.


Cost optimization

  • The Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability license includes Dataverse entitlement capped at different limits for databases, files, and logs. Extra usage requires purchasing Dataverse capacity add-ons. Be sure to design a data retention strategy to archive Dataverse data that's not in use by operations and analytics. Consider Azure Storage for cost optimizations.
  • Consider the cost optimization design checklist in Azure Well-Architected Framework.

Security and compliance

  • Validate whether the countries/regions and languages that Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability supports align with the customer tenant, regions, and languages by reviewing compliance requirements.
  • Default business unit roles only apply to activities and emissions. Specifically, solution scopes reference data at the organizational level by default. However, most reference data is applicable across business unit boundaries, such as factor libraries, transport mode, or fuel type. If a sibling business unit precludes them, they can't perform calculations or experience calculation failures. For more information, go to Set up user roles and access management.
  • Security roles in Dataverse don't impact Power BI views, so the insights and dashboard in Microsoft Sustainability Manager have the following limitations:
    • The solution scopes the role access for the dashboard and insights at the organization level.
    • The business unit reporting role only impacts report generation access and data. It doesn't apply to dashboard and insights views. For more information about authorization, go to Set up user roles and access management.
    • Users with guest accounts can't ingest data and can only view the data within their tenant. For more information about data ingestion, go to Import data.

Performance efficiency

  • Consider Power Query, Dataverse service protection, and nonlicensed user API request limits while designing data ingestion or inbound integration. The following articles provide more information:

  • The built-in analytics and reporting in Microsoft Sustainability Manager uses Microsoft Power BI embedded analytics and a managed Azure Data Lake that stores all analytical data.

  • You can't customize the built-in reports or access this managed data lake directly. However, you can create custom reports using the exported data in Azure Synapse Analytics and Azure Data Lake as described in Create a custom report in Microsoft Sustainability Manager.

  • Built-in Microsoft Sustainability Manager reports automatically refresh within a schedule that you can't adjust.

  • A single calculation job has a limit on the number of activities being processed. The easiest way to limit calculation jobs is by narrowing the calculation profile criteria. For more information about calculation models, go to Calculation profile.

Next steps