Our policies and practices

We work to apply the power of technology to earn and sustain the trust of the customers and partners we empower and the communities in which we live and work. This focus extends to our work to build an inclusive and sustainable future where everyone has access to the benefits and opportunities that technology can bring. It’s central to our mission to empower every person and organization to achieve more, and it's why many of our employees come to work every day.

Working together with stakeholders

We know that the decisions we make affect our employees, customers, partners, shareholders, suppliers, and communities, and we take their voices into account. Microsoft receives input from millions of people each year—from individual customers to policymakers and global human rights specialists. We bring outside perspectives into the company and inform our business decisions through a variety of feedback channels. We go beyond formal channels, proactively engaging with key stakeholders, advocacy groups, industry experts, corporate responsibility rating agencies, impact-focused investors, and many others. We also share our learnings and practices to help generate industry dialogue, inform public debate, and advance greater progress.

Identifying material issues

Our reporting describes those topics which we consider to be the most important to stakeholders when evaluating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues at Microsoft. Therefore, ESG materiality in our reporting does not directly correspond to the concept of materiality used in securities law.


A listing of what we currently identify and categorize as our top ESG issues can be found below. Microsoft conducted a materiality assessment focused on environmental sustainability, which can be accessed in the 2020 Environmental Sustainability Report.

  • Climate and Energy

  • Ethics and Integrity (including governance, responsible competition, responsible AI, responsible policy engagement)

  • Human Capital (including culture and development, diversity and inclusion, engagement, and well-being)

  • Human Rights

  • Natural Resources (water, waste, and ecosystems)

  • Privacy and Data Security/Cybersecurity

  • Inclusive Economic Growth (including accessibility, skilling, racial equity)

  • Responsible Sourcing (including product lifecycle management)

CEO and senior leadership

The leaders of our commitments report directly to Microsoft President and Vice Chair, Brad Smith, who sits on our Senior Leadership Team and reports directly to Chairman and CEO, Satya Nadella. We work together to earn the trust and confidence of the public, our customers, partners, employees, and shareholders.

Environmental, Social, and Public Policy Committee

The charter for the Microsoft Environmental, Social, and Public Policy Committee includes assisting the Board of Directors in overseeing the company’s “policies and programs and related risks that concern environmental sustainability, the social and public policy impacts of technology including privacy, digital safety, and responsible artificial intelligence, and legal, regulatory, and compliance matters relating to competition / antitrust, trade, and national security.”

Read the committee charter

Corporate governance

At Microsoft, our focus on corporate responsibility fosters sustained long-term business success. Our corporate governance framework, policies, and practices are described in detail in our annual proxy statement and the corporate governance section of our Investor Relations website.

Learn about our corporate governance

Compliance and ethics

Our compliance and ethics policies and programs include our Standards of Business Conduct, which applies to employees, executive officers, Board of Directors, and Microsoft subsidiaries and controlled affiliates (where Microsoft directly or indirectly owns more than 50 percent of the voting control).

Read more about our compliance and ethics policies

Aligning our values

Global standards

We inform our disclosure strategies with careful consideration of commonly used global standards and we are closely following the evolution of voluntary and regulatory standards for ESG disclosures.

Learn more about the International Financial Reporting Standards

Principles of United Nations Global Compact (UNGC)

In 2006, we began endorsing the United Nations Global Compact and we file an annual Communication on Progress implementing the 10 UNGC principles.

United Nations Guiding Principles

Microsoft was among the first companies to align our human rights work with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and to adopt the UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework.

Sustainable Development Goals

We're actively engaged in supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals and publicly report how Microsoft contributes to the global effort to achieve the SDGs.