Our packaging environmental footprint continues to decrease through a science-based approach and collaboration with our supply chain and industry partners.
We have implemented an end-to-end (i-E2E) program management process for new product packaging designs.
The people, organizations, and planet we empower inspire innovation from start to finish. That’s why Microsoft is reducing our environmental footprint through sustainable packaging, scientific design, and industry partnerships.
Better productivity, better planet
We develop efficient and environmentally-friendly packaging by implementing end-to-end (i-E2E) program management. This robust data platform champions complete product development visibility, Microsoft environmental guidelines, and beautiful design.
Microsoft sustainable packaging design principles
A global promise to improve our world
Climate change demands global response, and Microsoft invests in initiatives to encourage our company, our partners, and our customers to go green. In March 2009, Microsoft signed the Australian Packaging Covenant (APC). As an original signatory member, we agreed to reduce consumer packaging environmental impact by improving packaging design, recycling rates, and packaging stewardship. Microsoft has since expanded the APC to all global packaging programs.
As part of the APC action plan in 2015, we designed easy-to-separate components, decreased our use of plastic packaging materials, and reduced non-recyclable consumer packaging materials.
On average, 70% of the paperboard we use contains recycled content and plastics make up less than 4% of total packaging materials.
Do more with less
Microsoft’s “paper-first” design principles empower our mobile-first, cloud-first world, reduce or eliminate our use of plastics, increase sustainable sourcing, optimize packaging size and weight, and to encourage recycling. In 2015, we grew paper-first design principles which includes using less paper and reducing package documentation like user manuals, and providing more online resources than ever before.
Climate change is no match for creative collaboration
Environmental packaging is more than a supply chain—for Microsoft, it’s a value chain that respects our customers and our climate. In 2015, we developed sustainability scorecards using earlier package versions and previous reporting periods to benchmark, understand, and improve every new design. That same year, we launched an engineering and design partnership to develop new packaging standards. Through this “One Microsoft” initiative, we are harmonizing packaging designs to reduce environmental impact across product lines by at least 7% on our scorecard.
Mobile goes green
Microsoft Mobile division keeps environmental innovation moving. Our mobile packaging is over 95% fiber based, out of which more than 78% is recycled, and remaining virgin fibers are all certified from sustainable sources. Plastic materials comprise less than 3% of mobile packaging, and all Microsoft Mobile packaging is 100% recyclable.
This is just the beginning
Microsoft is looking for new ways to integrate sustainability into our packaging to offer the most powerful protection with the least environmental impact. We continue to research and improve our emphasis on recycled and certified-virgin fibers, move manual content online, and build projects of passion like lightweight rigid-board packaging. Learn more about our commitment to sustainability at Microsoft Environment.
Australian packaging covenant
In March 2009, Microsoft voluntarily signed the Australian Packaging Covenant (APC). As one of the original signatory members, we agreed to reduce the environmental impact of consumer packaging by encouraging improvements in packaging design, higher recycling rates, and better packaging stewardship. Since then, we have incorporated the APC into our packaging programs globally.
In our last reporting year, 2014, we successfully met and exceeded a number of key performance indicators under the APC Action Plan.
Read more about our successful Packaging design:
One of the action plans was to target 5 percent averaged reduction of non-recyclable consumer packaging based on relevant product platform improvement. One of our efforts to meet this plan was to decrease the plastic usage in packaging material and design the components to be easibly separated by types. The plastic and paper ratio in our Screen Protector packaging used to be 2:1. In its new version, launched in 2014, we improved the plastic and paper ration to 0.06:1. The plastic usage was reduced by 96 percent.
Another action plan was to identify opportunities to minimize packaging footprint during the new product development cycle. We identified opportunities to minimize packaging footprint by using Blu-ray discs for Xbox One games, which are smaller in dimension compared to normal DVD discs but are higher in cost. Despite the cost increase, the Blu-ray option reduces disc case volume by 16.9 percent and manual inside the disc case by 20 percent (paper area).
We also successfully met and exceeded a number of APC key performance indicatiors specifically for mobile devices. We reduced the number of pages in user guides. The Lumia phone user guide was reduced by almost 60 percent (from 45 pages to 18 pages) while the mobile phone user guide was reduced by almost 28 percent (from 45 pages to 28 pages).
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