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Microsoft aims for 'zero waste' in operations, products, and packaging by 2030

Microsoft logo
Microsoft logo (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft announced a new "zero waste" goal for 2030.
  • The goal affects Microsofts operations, products, and packaging.
  • This builds on Microsoft's efforts to go carbon negative by 2030.

Microsoft has been vocal about its environmental initiatives in recent years, and it announced a new one today. The company now plans to achieve "zero waste" in its direct operations, products, and packaging by 2030. Microsoft president Brad Smith outlined the details (opens in new tab) of this plan in a new blog post.

From Smith:

To address our own waste creation, Microsoft will reduce nearly as much waste as we generate while reusing, repurposing or recycling our solid, compost, electronics, construction and demolition, and hazardous wastes. We'll do this by building first-of-their-kind Microsoft Circular Centers to reuse and repurpose servers and hardware in our datacenters. We'll also eliminate single-use plastics in our packaging and use technology to improve our waste accounting. We will make new investments in Closed Loop Partners' funds. And finally, we'll enlist our own employees to reduce their own waste footprints.

"By 2030, we will divert at least 90 percent of the solid waste headed to landfills and incineration from our campuses and datacenters, manufacture 100 percent recyclable Surface devices, use 100 percent recyclable packaging (in Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, OECD, countries), and achieve, at a minimum, 75 percent diversion of construction and demolition waste for all projects," Smith said.

This work builds on Microsoft's goal to go carbon negative in its operations, announced earlier this year. That initiative is expected to eliminate the equivalent of all of Microsoft's past carbon emmissions since its founding by 2050. In July, Microsoft also announced a new coalition to spur movement to a net zero carbon economy.

Microsoft isn't alone among tech giants in its moves to be more environmentally conscious. Apple is famously vocal about its environmental efforts, and even individual PC manfuacturers, such as HP, have made sustainability a major focus. Whether Microsoft will achieve its targets in the timeframe set forth remains to be seen.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to daniel.thorp-lancaster@futurenet.com.

6 Comments
  • This is great! While I love the premium look and feel of the Surface packaging, it's sooo bad for the environment and can't be recycled.
  • More cloud computing == More need of internet == More radiation emitting devices == Lesser life span.
  • What? (need more words)
  • I swear people like you make me happy there's a pandemic.
  • Closing their stores surely helped.
  • So are they going to have replacement and/or recycling programs for their devices with internal non-replacable batteries?