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Packaging

Packaging compliance

Microsoft designs its hardware and software packaging to meet global requirements and reduce environmental impact. Microsoft uses specifications and testing to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations, including compliance with the EU Directive on Packaging and Packaging Waste as amended (2015/720/EU), CEN packaging standards (EN 13427:2005), and United States Toxics in Packaging legislation. Microsoft product packaging meets heavy metal restrictions, labeling, and essential requirements regarding packaging optimization, manufacturing, composition, and recovery and reuse set by applicable standards.

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Do more with less

Microsoft’s paper-first design principles reduce or eliminate our use of plastics; increase sustainable sourcing; optimize packaging size and weight; and encourage recycling. Our paper-first design principles include using less paper, reducing package documentation like user manuals, and providing more online resources than ever before.

Microsoft sustainable packaging design principles:

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    Eliminate environmentally unfavorable materials

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    Minimize packaging weight and materials

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    Increase use of recycled content

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    Design for end-of-life recycling materials, separable components, and clear material markings

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    Increase use of bio-based and other sustainable materials

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    Reduce logistics and packaging manufacturing footprint

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    Reduce logistics and packaging manufacturing footprint

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    Evaluate product platforms’ overall environmental impact through life cycle analysis

Microsoft is reducing our environmental footprint through sustainable packaging, scientific design, and industry partnerships. We have implemented an end-to-end (i-E2E) program management process for new product packaging designs, to develop efficient and environmentally friendly packaging. The i-E2E data platform champions complete product development visibility, Microsoft environmental guidelines, and beautiful design.

Microsoft invests in initiatives to encourage our company, partners, and customers to go green. In March 2009, Microsoft signed the Australian Packaging Covenant (APC). As an original signatory member, we agreed to reduce the consumer packaging environmental impact by improving packaging design, recycling rates, and packaging stewardship. Microsoft has since expanded the APC to all global packaging programs.

In 2015, as part of the APC action plan, we designed separable components, decreased our use of plastic packaging materials, and reduced non-recyclable consumer packaging materials. On average, 70 percent of the paperboard we use contains recycled content, and plastics make up less than 4 percent of total packaging materials.

In our last reporting year, 2018, we successfully met and exceeded several key performance indicators under the APC action plan.

This is just the beginning

Microsoft is looking for new ways to integrate sustainability into our packaging to offer the most powerful protection with the least environmental impact. We continue to research and improve our emphasis on recycled and certified-virgin fibers, move manual content online, and build projects of passion like lightweight rigid-board packaging.

Questions? Ask the environmental compliance team (askect@microsoft.com)

Our commitment to environmental sustainability

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Eco Profiles

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Sustainable Devices and Packaging Report

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