Microsoft announced today that it plans to stop generating waste in its operations by 2030 and no longer use disposable plastics in packaging by 2050. As part of its zero-waste goal, Microsoft plans to build “Circular Centers” that will allow companies to reuse or recycle 90 percent of the waste on site, rather than sending it to third-party recyclers.
One of the larger items recovered internally is the server used by Microsoft’s data center. Microsoft has also promised to eliminate waste from its production processes, but does not expect its suppliers to stick to its waste-zero goal, as Microsoft has done.
Last year, Microsoft’s largest office building sent 3,189 metric tons of waste to landfills. Microsoft has promised to cut it to zero within the next decade. According to a report released in July, a record 53.6 million metric tons of e-waste will be thrown away globally in 2019. This number is expected to grow only. While Microsoft’s announcement today will not have much impact on e-waste, the software giant’s responsible attitude is positive.
Microsoft says it will use new ways to promote waste generation and recycling, and the company has designed the Surface Laptop and Surface Pro X to make them easier to remove and repair than previous models.
“We’re committed to improving the serviceability of our own products, but also trying to balance other issues such as safety and durability, and of course the most important thing for us is privacy and security,” said Brian Janous, Microsoft’s general manager of energy and sustainability. “