Overview and approach

Every Microsoft device fulfills our strict environmental criteria which include, but are not limited to, compliance with all applicable legal requirements. We also require that our global manufacturing partners and vendors follow stringent environmental practices with respect to their facilities, operations, and the products they manufacture for us.

 

The sustainability of our products begins with their design. We are finding innovative solutions through design and development to reduce environmental impacts and address challenges across the product and packaging value chain. Ecodesign guides our approach, influencing our decisions from selecting materials to innovative designs enabling repair and recycling.

 

We apply the following tools and approaches to reduce impacts across the product lifecycle:

  • Lifecycle assessments (LCAs) to guide sustainable design and manufacturing decisions.
  • Select materials and design elements that increase circularity, including recycled and recyclable materials.
  • Design for reliability and durability to keep products in use for as long as possible.
  • Create solutions to increase repairability and serviceability.
  • Choose design elements with lower manufacturing and carbon impact.
  • Increase energy efficiency.

Microsoft is an EPEAT® Participating Manufacturer. As the EPEAT requirements become more rigorous, our products and operations are also evolving to meet more stringent standards. Our plan is for our products to meet the new EPEAT requirements at the Gold level. Surface registered products can be found on the EPEAT Registry.

Our environmental principles

Microsoft Windows and Devices 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 principles 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.

Conserve, reuse, and recycle

Where feasible, we conserve natural resources by using recycled and renewable materials, increasing energy efficiency, repairing and refurbishing products, and supporting product recycling programs.

Reduction and disposal of wastes

We reduce and, where possible, eliminate waste at our facilities by designing out waste and reusing and recycling materials. All our waste is handled and disposed of via safe and environmentally responsible methods.

Sustainable products and packaging

Our environmental policies and practices aim to protect the world’s natural resources and ensure the well-being of our customers and communities. We use Microsoft digital technology to manage our impacts and we design our products and services to enable our customers to do the same.

Continually improve our performance

We set challenging objectives and targets to improve our environmental performance and management systems. We engage our employees and regularly review our business activities, programs, practices, and goals to drive progress at scale. We proactively manage environmental risks and opportunities, and we collaborate with suppliers to reduce impacts across the value chain.

Responsibly source raw materials

We are committed to responsibly sourcing our raw materials as per our Responsible Sourcing of Raw Materials Policy. We collaborate with industry groups, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and other stakeholders to establish responsible practices in the harvesting and extraction of raw materials across the value chain.

Demonstrate responsibility and transparency

We engage with stakeholders to shape our environmental objectives and targets and we communicate progress to our Board, shareholders, customers, and members of the public.

Lifecycle thinking

To understand the environmental impacts across the product lifecycle, we use product lifecycle assessment (LCA).

 

Product LCA is a science-based methodology that calculates the environmental impacts of all activities associated with the product lifecycle – from the extraction of raw materials through the activities of producing, using, transporting, and end-of-life treatment. Our LCA calculations are in accordance with ISO 14040 and ISO 14044 standards, complemented by ETSI TS 103 199 and ITU-T L.1410.

 

Our LCA results represent our best understanding of a product’s lifecycle environmental impacts at the time of LCA publication. LCAs are revised, as needed, to accommodate product changes, updates to underlying lifecycle inventory data, and improvements in LCA methodology.

 

LCA data guide design decisions to reduce the environmental impacts of our products. LCA tools enable us to compare the environmental impact of materials, processes, and components to enable our designers and engineers to make informed decisions during the planning, concept, design, and development phases.

 

To increase transparency and credibility with customers and stakeholders, we publish environmental data, including LCA results, for our Xbox consoles and Surface devices in our Ecoprofiles. Ecoprofiles are available on our website and provide carbon emissions and nonrenewable energy use over the lifetime of a product and identify the product’s material usage, energy consumption, ecolabels, product recycling, and other environmental attributes.

 

 

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The results of an LCA depend on the calculation method, scope, and assumptions used. Thus, assessments of different producers are not comparable even though general LCA standards are available. We use the ISO 14040 and ISO 14044 standards, complemented by ETSI TS 103 199 and ITU-T L.1410, as a framework for our calculations. Our LCA calculations include the entire lifecycle, from raw material acquisition through end-of-life disposal.

 

Over time, we evaluate different LCA methodologies, tools, and databases. As the LCAs, devices, and technologies are continuously evolving, our LCA results represent our best understanding of LCA impacts at the time of publication and are revised when needed.

Our LCAs cover the product, its retail packaging, and its power supply unit, unless otherwise specified in the Ecoprofile. LCAs are cradle-to-grave, meaning that we include the entire lifecycle of the product: manufacturing, distribution to customer, product use, and end-of-life treatment. The manufacturing stage includes extraction of raw materials, upstream materials preparation, electronic component manufacturing, subassembly manufacturing and assembly, and final assembly. For our LCA calculations for Surface products, we assume that the products are in use for three years. In the calculations for Xbox consoles, we assume five years of use. The use phase accounts for both active and idle time usage (for example, when the device is energized but not in active use). For the transportation phase, both inbound and outbound logistics are included. The recycling phase calculations cover activities up to and including shredding of materials. The environmental impacts of other accessories are not included but may be reported separately. Software and hardware design impacts are captured in our corporate carbon footprint and excluded from the individual product LCA calculations.

We apply EPEAT standards to our Surface devices. EPEAT is the leading global ecolabel for the IT sector, managed by the Green Electronics Council. The program requires independent verification of product and corporate eco-attributes. We are continuously working to improve the EPEAT registration level of our Devices. These ratings are used by customers to make purchasing decisions based on product and corporate environmental and social attributes. We track progress against EPEAT targets across our entire Surface portfolio. Surface registered products can be found on the EPEAT Registry.

The Microsoft Environmental Management System (EMS) is certified by an independent third party to meet the ISO 14001 standard, which is an internationally recognized framework that establishes a process for entities to manage and continuously improve their environmental performance. Microsoft also requires its contract manufacturers and suppliers of critical components to have an EMS in place.

Ecoprofiles for Xbox consoles and Surface devices are located in our download center.

 

Compliance information, including Product Declarations of Conformity, our environmental compliance letter, REACH declaration, Energy Star documentation, MIL-STD-810G qualification, and safety information for our Devices can be found on our Product Environmental and Safety Documents page.  You can search by product name, document type, or model number to access the relevant compliance information.

 

See our environmental information pages to learn more about service options for your Microsoft Device, battery replacement, packaging content, product environmental lifecycle assessments, and information for recyclers.

 

Surface Book 2 13.5-inch

 

Surface Book 2 15-inch

 

Surface Book 3 13.5-inch

 

Surface Book 3 15-inch

 

Surface Pro 5 and Surface Pro 6

 

Surface Go

 

Surface Go 2

 

Surface Pro 7

 

Surface Pro X

 

Surface Laptop 3

 

Surface Laptop Go

Carbon emissions and waste reduction

A healthy society requires a healthy planet. Our strategy addresses two of the most pervasive challenges society faces: climate change and waste. These are material issues for Microsoft Window and Devices; we can have a significant positive impact by reducing end-to-end carbon emissions and waste across the lifecycle of our products.

 

Climate change

Microsoft has signed the United Nations’ 1.5-degree Business Ambition Pledge. In January 2020, Microsoft announced that it will be carbon negative by 2030. As part of this commitment, we will reduce our emissions by more than half across our business and supply chain. We have set a science-based target to reduce our Scope 3 carbon emissions. To reach our goals, we are focused on using carbon emission data, quantified by lifecycle assessments, to enable informed decision-making regarding the materials used, design, and manufacturing techniques to identify hot spots and reduce carbon emissions.

 

Waste commitment

We focus a significant amount of effort and innovation on increasing material efficiency because of the potential for reducing waste and carbon emissions. We are addressing material efficiency by increasing the recycled content of our Devices and improving their recyclability and circularity. In August 2020, we committed to achieve 100% recyclable Surface devices in Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries by 2030.

 

For more information about our environmental commitments and sustainability programs, please see our Microsoft Devices Sustainability Report.

Carbon emissions from product transport

In Q1 FY21, Microsoft Devices Supply Chain adopted the method for measuring CO2 equivalents outlined by Global Logistics Emissions Council (GLEC), which was then officially certified by Smart Freight Centre. Our certified FY20 transportation baseline included all modes of transport for the fulfillment and logistics of the Microsoft Devices business group. We are working to incorporate this into our overall carbon emissions profile.

 

Microsoft Devices Supply Chain has set a target to reduce its product transport emissions 16% year/year based on this baseline. We are making progress on this goal through the pursuit of transportation mode shifts, advanced routing technology, carbon-neutral distribution centers, and alignment to EPA’s SmartWay initiative. FY20 emissions from all modes of product transport was 98,567 absolute metric tons CO2e.

Find out more in our Environmental compliance Letter.

Find product environmental and safety documentation using our product look-up tool.

Download our ISO 14001 Certificate (PDF).

Questions? Ask the Environmental Compliance Team (askect@microsoft.com).