Our goals

Our responsible packaging goals have a 2025 deadline and cover packaging for any cloud infrastructure product that is delivered to, collected from, or moved between Microsoft datacenters.

Carbon reduction

We have an ambitious science-based target of a 55% reduction of Scope 3 greenhouse gas emission by 2030 from our 2017 baseline.

Learn about carbon reduction

Zero waste

We aim to eliminate our direct waste footprint and attain accreditation across our data centers. This requires diversion of waste streams by over 90% from landfill and incineration by 2030.

Learn about zero waste

Single use plastic elimination

We are dedicated to eliminating single use plastics in packaging by 2025.

More about plastic elimination

Packaging specification

Our material and design specifications are stringent across all of our products, allowing us to minimize our environmental impact.

Packaging Material specification

Environmental requirements for Cloud Hardware Transport Packaging.

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The term Cloud Infrastructure covers all packaging that provides protection to our cloud hardware to include fully assembled racks and component parts, during collection and delivery handling, storage, and transportation between locations.   This is business-to-business packaging and bulk secondary protective packaging used to transport products.

  • Primary Packaging: Retail or Customer Packaging serves as containment and protection, could be used for Cloud hardware components or spares. 
  • Secondary Packaging contains one or more primary packages for use during transport and storage, for example a larger box containing smaller packaged units.
  • Tertiary Packaging is external packaging to aid handling and transportation of large or bulk loads of provide load support in transport. Conventional examples include pallets and crates. 
  • Dunnage – Interior packaging that reduces friction and contact between the primary packs or products and packaging during transport, providing additional protection. Tertiary packaging can also use exterior dunnage to reduce friction between units and support load stabilization during transport. Examples include airbags, foams, product separators, stretch or shrink wrap, metal strapping, protective covers or other cushioning placed in between units.

On August 4th, 2020 Microsoft announced a new goal of being zero waste by 2030 for our direct waste footprint. Our focus is on preventing waste creation by reducing as much generated waste as possible, then reusing or recycling. We will apply this approach across various categories of waste, including solid waste, recycling, compost, electronics, construction and demolition, and hazardous waste. By 2030, we will divert at least 90% of solid waste headed to landfill and incineration from our campuses and owned and net-new operated data centers, manufacture 100% recyclable Surface devices, use 100% recyclable packaging (in OECD countries), and achieve, at a minimum, 75% diversion of construction and demolition waste for all projects.

As part of our zero waste commitment, all Microsoft owned and net-new operated data centers will be zero waste certified by 2030. In 2020, we achieved a major milestone in our journey as our data centers in Boydton, Virginia and Dublin, Ireland were certified zero waste through UL’s ECP 2799 standard.

Microsoft has committed to eliminating single-use plastics in all cloud infrastructure packaging by 2025. We are working with suppliers to increase packaging reuse and recycling wherever possible on our journey to reducing waste creation.

Microsoft are striving for a minimum of 50% recycled content in the packaging as we are to increase the circularity of materials in the cloud footprint, closing material loops as we work towards a circular cloud that is more regenerative.  Reducing virgin feedstock also generates less emissions as the material recycling processes are generally less carbon intensive than raw material extraction.

The data that you provide Microsoft about the packaging materials, recycled material content, weights, dimensions and end of life options support our calculations of the circularity of our packaging and the related carbon emissions.  This key information provides us transparency as we seek to work in collaboration with our partners to become zero waste and carbon negative by 2030.


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Please contact us if you have general questions about Microsoft Cloud Responsible Packaging initiative or are interested in learning more.

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