Microsoft Commitment to Environmental Sustainability
Microsoft Corp. is committed to environmental sustainability and continuously works to explore and implement new ways to preserve and improve the environment. Environmental efforts at Microsoft are focused in two key areas:
; Applying Microsoft technology expertise to help solve environmental challenges ; Reducing the company's environmental footprint
Applying Microsoft Expertise and Industry Position to Environmental Challenges ; Technology solutions. Microsoft believes that technology significantly contributes to
promoting environmental sustainability. It has worked with organizations such as the
Sustainable Packaging Coalition, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the
Natural Resources Defense Council to build solutions that enable consumers, businesses, and
governments to improve their environmental footprints.
?o The newest Microsoft operating system, Windows Vista, is the company's most energy-
efficient operating system to date. It features significant changes to power management
infrastructure, functionality, and default settings that can reduce computer energy
consumption. Read more at
o Microsoft and the Clinton Foundation Climate Initiative are partnering to develop a suite
of technology tools that will enable cities around the world to accurately monitor,
compare, and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Microsoft, together with a
consortium of partners, will develop a single Web solution to help cities clearly
understand their environmental footprint. With this information, cities can make better
choices as they aim to improve their energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. The
new Web-based software tools will be provided free to cities and will be available by the
end of 2007.
?o Microsoft is a leader in the development of collaboration solutions, such as Microsoft ?? Office Live Meeting, SharePoint, and Microsoft Office Groove2007. These
technologies enable virtual meetings, thereby reducing the need for the physical transfer
of documents and business travel.
o Microsoft Dynamics? is developing an environmental dashboard, using the familiar
interface of Microsoft Office, that will enable companies to manage data about
greenhouse gases, as well as other sustainability-related data. The dashboard will work
with other Microsoft Dynamics business management solutions. Read more at
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? is the exclusive online media partner for Save Our Selves (SOS) – The Campaign o MSN
for a Climate in Crisis. SOS is designed to trigger a global movement to combat the
climate crisis. It will reach people in every corner of the planet through television, film,
radio, the Internet, and Live Earth, a 24-hour concert on 7/7/07 across all 7 continents.
o Microsoft participation in Live Earth will further its impact on individuals through the
power and reach of the MSN network. With services in 42 markets and 21 languages,
MSN reaches millions of people who want to be informed and engaged. With its
extensive global reach, MSN will help educate people around the world about ways they
can take action and make a difference in working toward a more sustainable environment. ; Addressing e-waste. Millions of potentially useful personal computers are literally going to
waste, and Microsoft believes that software can play a role in prolonging the life of computer
hardware. The company is committed to enhancing the reusability of computers and other
devices so that they are kept in use as long as possible. Microsoft promotes computer
recycling through its own Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher (MAR) and Digital Pipeline (DP)
programs. Tips on how to donate computer equipment are available at
o Through the MAR and DP programs, Microsoft helps extend the life of older retired
computers by providing low-cost licenses for Microsoft software. Both MAR and DP
require that computers that are granted a low-cost license be recycled.
o The MAR program in the United States has supported more than 400 refurbishers and has
supplied more than 60,000 licenses. Microsoft now operates the MAR program all over
the world to help educational establishments and charitable organizations access the
technology they need. Information on how to contact a MAR is available at
; Vendor requirements. As a global company manufacturing all over the world, Microsoft
requires that all vendors abide by the applicable environmental laws and follow
environmental practices that reflect the spirit of those laws.
Reducing the Company’s Environmental Footprint
Microsoft is focused on improving the impact its business operations have on the environment. It is a leader in several areas, particularly at its headquarters in Redmond, Washington. In the Puget Sound region, Microsoft has been recognized by the EPA for its employee commuting programs, which provide environmentally sound options for the more than 35,000 employees who work in the region.
; Increased power efficiency at data centers. Microsoft has many data center locations
throughout the world. Given the costs expected from growth in these data centers, Microsoft
is focused on maximizing efficiencies. The Data Center Services team closely monitors and
manages current power consumption and the design of future data centers.
o The largest Microsoft data center to date, in Quincy, Washington, is an example of the
way the company is building for the future.
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; It was designed to have minimal or no carbon footprint, with hydropower as its
primary source of energy. Hydropower is a clean-air and renewable resource from the
Columbia River Basin.
; The data center will maximize its use of green building technology under the
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. The LEED
Green Building Rating System is a voluntary, consensus-based national standard for
developing high-performance, sustainable buildings.
o Microsoft is also researching new energy options and technologies that will bring about even greater efficiencies. Working closely with energy companies, Microsoft is exploring a variety of power generation and transmission technologies—some that have long been
used in large industrial processes but have never been applied to data centers.
; Responsible Building Design and Global Operations
o Microsoft invests in new technology to ensure that its buildings are efficient and take advantage of alternative energy opportunities. In the United States, its new buildings use 10 percent to 15 percent less energy than older buildings do, as it participates in the EPA LEED program. All new construction is being built to the Silver LEED standards.
; In April 2006, Microsoft formally dedicated a system of 2,288 solar panels that cover
31,000 square feet of rooftop area at its campus in Mountain View, California. This
system generates 480 kilowatts of power at peak capacity, enough energy to supply
approximately 15 percent of the campus’s total energy needs.
; Microsoft UK purchases 100 percent renewable electricity at the main office in
Thames Valley Park and plans to extend this renewable resource to all other offices in
the United Kingdom when development is complete.
; At the new Microsoft campus in Hyderabad, India, double-glazed windows and
sunshades reduce reliance on air conditioning (AC), lights turn off automatically if
offices are unoccupied for more than 10 minutes, and a reservoir recycles 36,000
cubic meters of rainwater to irrigate the 48-acre campus and to run energy-efficient,
water-cooled AC units.
o Microsoft is researching ways to improve product packaging by using environmentally friendly options and decreasing the amount of disposable packaging. Through participation in the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, a cross-industry group of more than 100 global companies, Microsoft created packaging made out of recycled plastic beverage containers for the Microsoft Streets and Trips GPS case.
; The company has been recognized by leading environmental organizations, such as
the EPA, for using sustainable packaging concepts from the packaging industry for
o Microsoft also designs its software and hardware products to ensure that they comply with worldwide environmental regulations. It does not use heavy metals, such as lead and cadmium, in packaging or plastics for any Microsoft products, and it also restricts the use of toxic substances in its manufacturing operations.
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; Elimination of PVC. Microsoft eliminated polyvinyl chloride (PVC) from all its
packaging, effective December 31, 2005. Microsoft collaborated with organizations
such as the Center for Health, Environment and Justice to understand the issues
around PVC, and it worked with its channel partners to identify and implement
alternative solutions to its use. Through these efforts, the company was able to
remove PVC from product packaging by using a recyclable material and to reduce the
use of plastic clamshells on its products by 70 percent. Based on historical product
shipments, these recent measures will reduce PVC packaging over the next two years
by more than 1.6 million pounds.
; Recycling and conservation. Microsoft has an extensive recycling and conservation
program at its corporate headquarters in Redmond, Washington, that reduces waste and conserves resources at all the company facilities. The company also recycles old computers, monitors, servers, and other surplus electronics. In addition, Microsoft participates in programs throughout the world that refurbish thousands of computers every year and donate them to schools and nongovernmental organizations.
Examples include the following:
o Water. An advanced irrigation system at the Redmond campus saves about 11 million
o Paper. At the Redmond campus, paper is required to contain 35 percent recycled content.
Copiers default to double-sided use, so less paper is used.
o Waste. In Redmond, the company recycles an average of 141 tons of material monthly
(about 7.5 tons every workday), including glass, plastic, aluminum, cardboard, paper,
organic waste, wood pallets, and copper wire cabling. These items are tracked so that
their consumption can be monitored. It also recycles a minimum of 50 percent of the
construction waste associated with the development of its new buildings. Employees are
active in recycling waste and find it easy to incorporate recycling into their everyday
; Employee transit. Microsoft is striving to increase the number of employees who use alternate and efficient modes of transportation, and the company has been recognized as a leader in this area. In 2006, Microsoft received an award from the EPA as the second-best workplace for commuters among Fortune 500 companies. At many campuses, the company offers public transportation passes to its employees and assists with the arranging of van sharing and carpools and reductions in cost of bicycle maintenance.
Examples include the following:
o In the Redmond area, Microsoft has increased the commuter group to 30 percent of all
employees, representing more than 11,000 commuters in Puget Sound. Microsoft
subsidizes the cost and has a comprehensive commute program. It gives a free FlexPass
to all full-time employees, gives carpool and van sharing incentives, and offers lockers
and showers for bikers and walkers. In addition, the company offers flexible work
schedules and a guaranteed ride-home program.
o It has a fleet of 41 hybrid vehicles that are used for shuttle service on campus.
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o In addition, Microsoft is in the process of converting the campus-wide shuttle program to
hybrid vehicles, replacing the larger vans and buses currently used.
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Microsoft, Windows Vista, SharePoint, Groove, Microsoft Dynamics and MSN are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
For more information, press only:
Rapid Response Team, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, (503) 443-7070,