Microsoft

RATING

SECTOR

IT Software & Services

WEBSITE

CONTACT

Microsoft Corporation
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052-6399
USA

STOCK EXCHANGE

LISTING

  • CDP A list 
  • UN Global Compact CEO Water Mandate
  • #3 Forbes World’s most Reputable Companies for Corporate Responsibility 2019
  • #6 Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s 100 Best Corporation Citizens 2019
  • #1 Responsible Sourcing Netwrok Mining the Disclosures 2019: Application Software category

EMPLOYEES

144,000

CHIEF SUSTAINABILITY OFFICER

Lucas Joppa

AWARDS

  • ISS Environmental and Social QualityScore
  • CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) 
  • 2018 SmartWay Excellence Award

CONTENT SOURCE

FURTHER READING

Report created by Cec Ehrhard

Microsoft

SECTIONS :  Sustainability    Evaluation  •  Progress  •  Watch  •  Overview

Company Activity

Microsoft is an IT software and services company that creates and sells computer software, computers, and other electronics.

Microsoft was founded in 1975 by Bill Gates. Their mission is to “apply the power of technology to earn and sustain the trust of the customers and partners [they] empower and the communities in which [they] live and work”.

Over the past decades, the company has evolved into a multi-billion dollar business with a large range of products and services. Some of its notable products being Internet Explorer, Microsoft Office, Xbox 360, Windows XP. 

With innovation at the forefront of their company they are constantly coming out with new products while investing in new research and technology in AI, computer vision, human-computer interaction, security and privacy, and systems and networking. 

Company Sustainability Activity

Microsoft has extensive plans for the future to become a sustainable company. They’re driven through technology and science to reach these goals.

Highlights

  • Carbon neutral since 2012
  • Raised internal carbon fee to $17 per metric ton on carbon emissions
  • Xbox consoles obtained CarbonNeutral certification

Targets

Reducing Environmental Footprint

  • Committed to being carbon negative by 2030
  • By 2025, shift to 100% renewable energy 
  • New construction headquarters which will run on 100 carbon-free electricity
  • Remove as much carbon than company has emitted by 2050  
  • 37% of units fulfilled by carbon neutral fulfillment centers by 2021

Biodiversity

  • Committed to protect more land than use by 2025
  • “Planetary Computer” will take responsibility for ecosystem impacts of company’s operations 

 Minimizing Waste & Littering

  • Zero waste products and packing by by 2030 (100% recyclable Surface devices and packing)
  • Eliminate single use plastic packaging by 2025
  • Surface Laptop 3 assessed to be 91% recyclable 
  • Expand mail-back program for branded electronics and packaging 

Managing Water / Hazardous Substances

  • Water positive by 2030 (replenish more water than used)
  • Replace brominated flame retardants in resins
  • Reduce volatile organic compounds in coatings 

Progress

Reducing Environmental Footprint  

  • Reduced company emissions by 15.6 millions tons of carbon dioxide equivalent
  • Purchased more than 1.9 gigawatts of new wind and solar energy 
  • Recycled 10 million kilograms of consumer e-waste per year 
  • Redesigning datacenters for energy efficiency 
  • Invest in carbon removal offsets – scope 1, 2, 3 emissions
  • Reinest funds from internal carbon fee for sustainable initiative

Waste Management

  • Exploring a solution for waste etching liquid
  • Improved sustainability of packaging by using less materials and optimizing manufacturing processes

Certificates

  • ENERGY STAR
  • ISO 14001
  • RoHs 
  • WEEE
  • EPEAT

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDGs Compliance

SDG 4

  • Partnering with schools to provide CS education for the youth. Microsoft Tech for Social Impact focuses on nonprofit digital transformation

SDG 6

  • Constantly testing availability of safe drinking water in factories
  • Protect water-use ecosystems through spill prevention, wastewater treatment, and chemical management 
  • Constant SEA audits for water management

SDG 8

  • Protect labor rights 
  • Empowering employees through specialized training and development programs along with wellness and safety programs
  • Promote diverse and inclusive work pace with inclusive hiring programs
  • Improving to close to digital divide between low-income and rural areas 
  • Regular audits, a third-party hotline, forced labor prevention programs

SDG 12

  • Palletization efficiency
  • Increasing computer power while reducing energy consumption
  • Reduce weight of primary packing by 14.4%
  • Register all devices to EPEAT
  • Require supplies to implement effective EMS

SDG 13

  • Use technology to focus on issues such as carbon, energy, water, and waste. Advocate for environmentally driven policy reform
  • Partner with SmartWay to improve fuel efficiency transportation of supply chain
  • Make sure all products comply with energy standards like ENERGY STAR
  • Minimize device energy consumption and use of materials and GHG
  • Banned use of Ozone Depleting Chemicals and hydrofluorocarbons 

SDG 16

  • Six key privacy principles and works with the Digital Crimes Unit with their commitment to privacy and cybersecurity
  • Working with the Defending Democracy Program to prevent political hacking and campaign transparency
  • Using AI technology to solve humanitarian issues
  • Working with the UN Human Rights Office and supports projects and grants towards human rights efforts

SDG 17

  • Promote the flow of communication and education of technology to developing countries
  • Partnerships with Pact and NGO

Evaluation

Microsoft has several sustainable goals for the future. With that said their production methods right now are not 100% sustainable. The company is in a rebuild / remodeling period and in the process of switching to renewable energy and creating sustainable products.

Microsoft has received some awards and certifications but not many. The certifications and labels are spread scarcely through FY20 report. The company complies with several UN SDGs, specifically SDGs 8, 13, 14.

The company is carbon neutral, but their products are not 100% recyclable or renewable. Microsoft has specific plans for sustainability practices with focus on their carbon footprint including GHG emissions and waste management; they have less focus on biodiversity. Over time, if they complete their targets, Microsoft will be able to increase their rating over the next five to ten years. For these reasons Microsoft has been given a “C” rating.

Analyst Outlook:  Neutral

Microsoft is committed to becoming more sustainable. This is shown through goal to be carbon negative by 2025. In addition, they are investing $1 billion in their Climate Innovation Fund. 

Key Points

  • Received some certificates and awards 
  • Microsoft pushed for more renewables in Virginia, supported the carbon-tax initiative in Washington, and opposed the rollback of Obama’s Clean Power Plan.
  • Microsoft is still a part of the US Chamber of Commerce, a conservative trade group that relentlessly lobbies against clean energy.
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