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Building sustainable devices

Every device starts with the environment in mind.

Our approach to product sustainability

At Microsoft, every device is made with a commitment to minimizing the impact our operations and product life cycles may have on the environment and communities. Every device we produce fulfills our strict environmental criteria and is, at a minimum, designed to be compliant with all applicable legal requirements. We also require that our global manufacturing partners and vendors follow sound environmental practices with respect to their facilities, operations, and the products they manufacture for us.

Our manufacturing and supply chain environmental principles

Microsoft conducts its business in compliance with applicable laws and policies — striving to build sustainable products and protect the safety and health of our employees, customers, and the public. By integrating sound environmental practices into all aspects of our supply chain and manufacturing functions, Microsoft empowers every person and organization on the planet to achieve more while protecting our natural world.

Details about product design, chemical requirements, and managing substance restrictions

We design our products to meet the highest expectations for performance, safety, and sustainability.

We do this through life cycle thinking. We perform life cycle assessments (LCA) to calculate the environmental impact of our hardware products and activities. This helps identify the key stages in the product life cycle — for example, where the largest sources of emissions and energy use over the device life cycle take place — and helps us minimize these impacts.

We publish greenhouse gas emissions, primary energy consumption and material composition data for our products through our eco profiles.

Global RoHS Compliance

All Microsoft’s hardware products comply with the applicable restricted substance requirements of the European Union’s Restriction of the use of certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RoHS) Directive (2002/95/EC) as amended by the EU RoHS Recast Directive (2011/65/EU). The EU RoHS Recast requires self-declaration to RoHS restrictions through the Declaration of Conformity (DoC) process and CE marking. The DoCs for Microsoft products can be found at https://www.microsoft.com/en-ie/eucompliancedoc.

By ensuring that Microsoft hardware products meet EU RoHS requirements, Microsoft also achieves compliance with other countries’ laws that duplicate the RoHS Directive’s substance restrictions for a similar scope of covered products, including China Management Methods for Controlling Pollution by Electronic Information Products, Korea Enforcement Ordinance on the Recycling of Electrical and Electronic Equipment and Vehicles Act 2007, Taiwan RoHS Regulation (CNS 15663), Japan’s Law for Promotion of Effective Utilization of Resources, and California’s Electronic Waste Recycling Act (SB20/SB50).

To achieve compliance, Microsoft requires its suppliers to conduct routine product material testing and to submit full material declarations for the products and parts they supply to Microsoft, allowing Microsoft to evaluate compliance with worldwide restricted substance requirements. Microsoft has created specifications to inform suppliers of restricted substance requirements and to establish documentation requirements, as follows:

  • Restricted Substances for Hardware Products (H00594), which indicates the limits established by Microsoft of restricted substances contained in parts and products supplied to Microsoft.
  • Restricted Substances Control System for Hardware Products (H00642), which is the methodology that suppliers must use to measure their adherence to H00594.

Note that EU RoHS, by definition, does not apply to Microsoft software products, packaging, or optical media (CD-ROMs and DVDs).

EU REACH Compliance

The European Union’s Regulation on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) (2006/1907/EC) entered into force on June 1, 2007. Pursuant to Article 33, Microsoft communicates information regarding Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) that are contained in articles in a concentration above 0.1% by weight to its customers and to consumers, upon request. Microsoft actively monitors the European Chemical Agency’s SVHC candidate list on an ongoing basis and restricts SVHCs that have been added to the ECHA authorization list.

Battery Compliance

Microsoft complies with global battery marking, substance restriction, consumer information, transportation and recycling requirements, including those mandated by the EU Battery Directive (2006/66/EC). To properly dispose of batteries, please consult Microsoft’s battery recycling website. Battery transportation requirements for Microsoft products containing lithium ion batteries can be found here.

Packaging Compliance

Microsoft designs its hardware and software packaging to meet global requirements. Microsoft uses specifications and testing to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations, including compliance with the European Union’s Directive on Packaging and Packaging Waste (1994/62/EC), as amended and CEN packaging standards (EN 13427:2005) as well as US Toxics in Packaging legislation. Packaging for Microsoft products meet heavy metal restrictions, labelling, and essential requirements regarding packaging optimization, manufacturing, composition, recovery and reuse. Microsoft committed to the continual improvement of environmentally sound packaging by signing the Australia Packaging Covenant (APC) on March 25, 2009. We continued our commitment to the updated Australia Packaging Covenant (APC) by signing and submitting the APC Declaration form in August, 2010. Microsoft has since expanded the APC to all global packaging programs.

US Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act/EU Safety of Toys (Directive 2009/48/EC)

Enacted in August 2008, the US Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) limits the use of lead and certain phthalates in children’s products. Although our devices are not classified as children’s products, Microsoft designs its Xbox video game consoles and Xbox accessories to meet CPSIA substance restriction requirements due to their potential use by children. For the same reason, Microsoft also designs its Xbox video game consoles and Xbox accessories to meet the substance requirements of the EU Safety of Toys (Directive 2009/48/EC).

California Proposition 65

Proposition 65, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, was enacted as a ballot initiative in November 1986. The Proposition was intended by its authors to protect California citizens and the State's drinking water sources from chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm, and to inform citizens about exposures to such chemicals. None of Microsoft’s products contain chemicals that would trigger notification under California Proposition 65.

Ozone Depleting Substances (ODSs)

The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (“Montreal Protocol”) restricts the use of ODSs in manufacturing and Sections 4681 and 4682 of the US Internal Revenue Code (IRC) impose an excise tax on the sale or use of ODSs by the manufacturer, producer or importer of the ODS and the sale or use in the United States by the importer of any “imported taxable products.” Any importation of ODSs or products containing ODSs are subject to the IRS excise tax. To ensure compliance, Microsoft has established a strong company policy on prohibiting the use of ODSs. Microsoft uses a three-pronged approach to achieve this policy: a restricted substance specification that all suppliers must meet, an annual supplier disclosure, and supplier audits that validate supplier ODS claims.

Lead, mercury, cadmium

We phased these substances out from our products in compliance with the European Union’s Restriction on the Use of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) Directive in the EU, and went even further with stricter Microsoft requirements for cadmium.

Halogenated flame retardants

We have restricted and limited many halogenated flame retardants as specified in our restricted substances specification. We not only meet legal requirements, but we have voluntarily phased out many halogenated flame retardants in certain applications.

Nickel

All our devices comply with strict global safety and quality standards. Some metal alloys used on product surfaces such as stainless steel do contain nickel, but standardized testing has shown that these do not cause nickel sensitivity in the general population. We use nickel at levels well within current legal and safety limits. We offer a wide range of devices without stainless steel on their surfaces as well.

Phthalates

Use of certain phthalates in our products has been restricted since 2005. We now restrict the use of a broad set of phthalates in all our equipment, including those referenced in EU RoHS, EU Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) and the chemical warning and disclosure law, California Proposition 65.

The Restricted Substances specification’s approach is science-based, but it also includes a precautionary principle. Where we have reasonable grounds for concern over a chemical’s potential for severe or irreversible damage to health or the environment, we believe actions should be taken to gather and assess additional data. Such investigations may lead to voluntary restrictions beyond legal requirements. The rationale for these substance restrictions is indicated in H00594 as “Microsoft Policy” in bold font.

Microsoft Restricted Substances for Hardware Products (H00594)

Microsoft Substance Restrictions are maintained in specification H00594, “Microsoft Restricted Substances for Hardware Products.” The document includes restrictions for substances and chemicals used in our hardware products, packaging, and in the manufacturing of our products. See the latest revision of H00594.

Restricted Substance Control System Procedure (H00642)

This specification outlines the procedure that suppliers must follow to ensure adherence to H00594, including required documentation. Microsoft requires full material declaration of products and parts at the homogeneous material level.

These specifications work together to ensure all parts, components, products, and packaging supplied to Microsoft meet global and Microsoft-specific restricted substance requirements. We use an independent laboratory to complete testing for certain restricted substances in all our products. We use test results to validate the material declarations from suppliers and monitor continued compliance throughout the product life cycle.

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