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 of this plan in a new blog post.
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.
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