Environmental sustainability

Microsoft is committed to leveraging technology to solve some of the world’s most urgent environmental issues—focusing on areas where we can have the most positive impact.

Impact at a glance


reduction in carbon emissions planned through continued carbon neutrality and energy commitments.

$50 million

over five years dedicated to getting cloud and AI tools in the hands of those solving global environmental challenges.


carbon neutrality achieved by our global operations every year since 2012.


reduction in product packaging weight for new devices in FY18.

Our commitment and approach

Microsoft aspires to enable a sustainable future by empowering every person and organization on the planet to thrive in a resource-constrained world.

Focus areas

Our environmental sustainability work focuses in three primary areas: carbon and energy, water and ecosystems (including agriculture, biodiversity, conservation), and waste minimization. We work to reduce our impact within our operations, create sustainable products and devices, innovate with our partners to solve environmental challenges with technology, and drive policies that help create a more sustainable future.


At Microsoft, we believe in the sustainable management of the water resources we use across our operations We’re focused on increasing our understanding of water-related risks and business impacts and how those affect the communities we serve. We set meaningful goals, improve our water efficiency, and advance innovative solutions to water challenges. The Silicon Valley campus will be the first tech campus with net-zero water certification, all the non-drinking water in the building will come from rainfall or on-site recycled water.


Our internal carbon fee has helped us achieve 100 percent carbon neutrality since 2012. The carbon fee funds our work to improve operational efficiency and enables us to buy clean energy and invest in carbon offset community projects.


We aspire to use our purchasing power, research and development and technology to change how Microsoft – and ultimately the world – consumes energy. We’ve purchased more than 1 gigawatt of renewable energy and have renewable energy projects on three continents. In our datacenters, we pilot cutting-edge fuel cell research and energy-storage batteries inside. Beyond our operations, we work with customers, partners and policymakers to enable greater change. We have also increased the energy efficiency of our devices and leveraged the energy saving capabilities of Windows 10 to provide a better user experience while reducing consumer energy use. Lastly, our Factory of the Future solar panel installation, combined with the smart building system in one of our largest supplier’s facilities is projected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (in CO2e) by approximately three million pounds annually.

Waste minimization

We design our products, buildings, and operations to promote resource reduction and reuse, enabling a more resource-efficient and productive economy. We use life cycle assessments and value stream analysis to improve product and packaging resource efficiency. On average, we have reduced new product package weight by 20 percent through a combination of right-sizing packaging to the product and introducing new lightweight materials. Microsoft is a member of over 150 recycling programs worldwide, covering electronics, batteries, and packaging. Beyond our products, our Puget Sound campus is zero-waste certified, reducing overall waste generation and diverting at least 90 percent of our operational waste from landfills.

FY18 highlights

In 2018, we made strong progress towards our renewable energy, research and development, and product carbon efficiency goals.

  • Learn more about this project
  • Learn about our cloud
  • Learn more about AI discoveries
  • Learn more about the pilot
  • Learn more about our program
  • The Surface Pro features a faster CPU and accelerated inking display while using less energy than the Surface Pro 4 and increasing battery life up to 13.5 hours.1

    Learn more about energy efficiency
  • In 2018, all Surface computers achieved EPEAT Gold environmental performance ratings in the US for their environmentally friendly design.2

    Download our Devices Sustainability Report (PDF)

FY18 reporting resources

Data factsheet: Environmental sustainability 2018 (PDF)

Find more information on key environmental indicators including greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption, water consumption and discharge, and waste through our downloadable report.

2018 CDP Climate Change Response (PDF)

Download our response to the annual CDP climate change questionnaire, covering the FY17 reporting period.

2018 CDP Water Response (PDF)

Download our response to the annual CDP water questionnaire, covering the FY17 reporting period.

Reports hub

Microsoft provides disclosures to help stakeholders evaluate how we’re meeting our commitments. We collect and share these reports in one place for easy reference and download.

2018 Global Reporting Initiative Index

The 2018 report content throughout this site contains disclosures from the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Sustainability Reporting Standards.

Devices Sustainability at Microsoft (PDF)

Download the report to learn how we embed sustainability requirements directly into the business practices of our device organization and partners.

Get the bigger picture

Explore key resources to learn more about our environmental sustainability efforts.

1Up to 13.5 hours of video playback. Testing conducted by Microsoft in April 2017 using preproduction Intel Core i5, 256GB, 8GB RAM device. Testing consisted of full battery discharge during video playback. All settings were default except: Wi-Fi was associated with a network and Auto-Brightness disabled. Battery life varies significantly with settings, usage, and other factors of the Surface Pro line and extend its battery life.

2These EPEAT Gold ratings remain valid until June 28, 2019.