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Microsoft: Waste Generation in 2021

  • In 2021, the total waste generated by Microsoft was 22,518 tonnes, a decrease of 44.5% over 2020
  • In 2021, Microsoft diverted 67.8% (15,278 tonnes) of the total waste generated
  • Microsoft has made a commitment to zero waste across its direct waste footprint by 2030

Generation of Waste by Microsoft

Hardware in general, and smartphones in particular, have taken over lives so quickly that the end of the product life cycle is often overlooked. However, they become a huge environmental and health problem in the landfill sites.

Electronic waste is currently 5% of all global waste, and it is set to increase exponentially as more of us own multiple smartphones, laptops, and power banks—a few of which are likely to be repaired or recycled at the end of their lives. However, the problem cannot be addressed by the governments alone. Companies need to take steps to reduce their waste by creating a circular hardware economy.

Waste Management by Microsoft

Microsoft Corp (Microsoft) develops, licenses, and supports software products, services, and devices. The company offers a comprehensive range of operating systems, cross-device productivity applications, server applications, software development tools, business solution applications, desktop and server management tools, video games, and training and certification services. It also designs, manufactures, and sells PCs, tablets, gaming and entertainment consoles, and other intelligent devices. The company provides a broad spectrum of services including cloud-based solutions, solution support, and consulting services.

The total waste generated by Microsoft in 2021 was 22,518 tonnes, a decrease of 44.5% over 2020. The company generated 20,768 tonnes of non-hazardous waste and 1,750 tonnes of hazardous waste in 2021.

In 2021, the company diverted 15,278 tonnes (67.8%) and disposed of 7,240 tonnes (32.2%) of the total waste generated. Diverted waste includes waste that has been reused, recycled, and composted.

Microsoft has made a commitment to zero waste across its direct waste footprint by 2030. By 2025, the company commits to having 90% of servers and components within its regional data center networks to be reused and eliminating single-use plastics in all Microsoft primary product packaging and all IT asset packaging in its data centers. Microsoft also aims to achieve a 90% diversion of operational waste at data centers and campuses by 2030.

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