Microsoft Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): a brief overview

By John Dudovskiy
February 10, 2019

Microsoft CSRMicrosoft corporate social responsibility (CSR) is guided by the citizenship mission of the company which is “to serve globally the needs of communities and fulfil our responsibilities to the public”. Moreover, charitable activities of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation founded by Microsoft founder Bill Gates is also associated with Microsoft in the perception of the general public to a certain extent.

The technology giant won a number of awards and achievements for its responsible behaviour. These include ranking #1 on Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens 2018, ranking #1 for both, Environment and Social Score which measures corporate performance using more than 200 factors. Moreover, Microsoft’s behavior as a socially responsible company has earned number 2 spot on JUST Capital’s Top 10 Tech Companies.

Microsoft CSR Programs and Initiatives

Microsoft Supporting Local Communities

  • Microsoft employees donated USD158 million to non-profits serving its local communities and the world
  • The Lagos Solar project in Nigeria uses batteries that are charged by solar panels, along with intelligent inverters connected to Microsoft Azure Internet of Things technology
  • International software provider Temenos relies on Microsoft Cloud services to reach people across Myanmar who lack access to banking, giving them opportunities for more financial stability and access to microcredit and other financial services.
  • Microsoft’s 4Afrika Initiative provides a set of programs to empower African youth, entrepreneurs, developers and business and civic leaders
  • YouthSpark initiative aims to empower 300 million young people around the world with opportunities for education, employment, and entrepreneurship

Microsoft Educating and Empowering Workers

  • Microsoft collects employee feedbacks through multiple channels and acts on them. As part of this initiative nearly 85 percent of our more than 117,000 employees responded employee survey
  • 92% of surveyed stated they feel proud to work at Microsoft and 87% of employees would recommend Microsoft as a great place to work
  • 90% of Microsoft’s employees are eligible for various bonuses

Labour and Human Rights at Microsoft 

  • Since 2016, Microsoft has had a formal commitment to respect human rights as a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact
  • The technology company adheres to its Global Human Rights Statement
  • Microsoft provides health and wellness programs for families, paid vacation, paid sick leave and paid time off for new parents

Employee Health and Safety at Microsoft

  • The Microsoft CARES employee assistance program, offers free access to services including personal and family counselling, stress management, and referrals for child/elder care.
  • The Microsoft Ergonomics Program offers the workforce ergonomic assessment and training programs and special furniture, equipment, and software for medical needs.
  • The company conducts Voice of the Supplier Surveys in an anonymous manner to monitor the adherence to health and safety and other important CSR-related principles.

Microsoft and Gender Equality and Minorities

  • The company is one of the first Fortune 500 companies in the world to offer domestic partner benefits for Microsoft LGBT employees
  • Since 2016 the company has nearly doubled the number of women corporate vice presidents – both overall and in technical roles
  • African American/Black and Hispanic/Latino representation among the workforce reached increased by 33% in 2017
  • Microsoft spent USD3 billion with minority, disabled, veteran, and woman owned businesses in FY18

Energy Consumption by Microsoft

  • 44% of the electricity used by Microsoft data centres comes from wind, solar, and hydro power electricity
  • Air cooling techniques used at Microsoft data centres result in 20-30 percent lower energy consumption
  • Microsoft leveraged its corporate campus to help create an analytical software solution that prioritizes maintenance and repairs our 125 Puget Sound buildings based on energy and cost savings potential
  • All new data centres of Microsoft have an average 1.125 Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE), which is one-third less than the industry average data centre PUE of 1.7.

Water Consumption by Microsoft

  • Air cooling techniques used at Microsoft data centres result in 90% lower water consumption
  • In India, the company captures rainwater for irrigation, and on its Hyderabad campus, it treats sewage for use in landscaping, resulting in zero sewer discharge.
  • Paris office also uses captured rainwater for irrigation and flushes fixtures.

Waste Reduction and Recycling by Microsoft

  • Microsoft Real Estate and Facilities teams around the world implement waste minimization programs, including office supply reuse, recycling, and in many cases, composting
  • Company’s Redmond, Washington dining facilities divert 99 percent of the waste from the landfill by recycling, using compostable tableware, and adapting our menu to minimize food waste.

Carbon Emissions by Microsoft

  • Since July 1, 2012, Microsoft’s global operations have been carbon neutral.
  • The company has purchased more than 14 million megawatt-hours (MWh) of green power and reduced company-wide emissions by more than 9 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (mtCO2e).
  • Microsoft has supported the lives of more than 7 million people in emerging nations through carbon offset community projects.
  • Company’s carbon offset project portfolio represents more than 600,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions

Microsoft and Sustainable Sourcing 

  • The company evaluates the operations of its suppliers against 23 different ethical, social, and environmental risks
  • Microsoft’s Device Supply Chain group (DSC) and indirect purchasing group oversee dedicated programs to ensure that its standards are met and to build partnerships with suppliers that advance social and environmental goals
  • Company’s Global Procurement Group created a formal responsible sourcing function in 2013 to consolidate and enhance its responsible sourcing activities with our indirect suppliers
  • More than 100,000 device and packaging components provided by suppliers have been evaluated for compliance by Microsoft

Microsoft’s other CSR Initiatives and Charitable Donations

  • The International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) has recognized Microsoft for having the ‘second largest number of certified privacy professionals (CIPP) of any company.
  • Microsoft employs more than 50 people whose primary role is investigating potential breaches of company policy, and an additional 120 people whose primary role is compliance
  • Microsoft has launched Office 365 for Nonprofits in 92 countries around the world, providing USD55 million worth of Office 365 subscriptions to nearly 11,500 nonprofits globally
  • Microsoft completed the Global Network Initiative (GNI) Phase III Assessment, conducted by an independent assessor, and the GNI Board determined that Microsoft is compliant with the GNI Principles on Freedom of Expression and Privacy
  • The company began the audit of its non-hardware suppliers against 23 different ethical, social, and environmental risks by country and by commodity category

Microsoft Corporation Report contains a full analysis of Microsoft corporate social responsibility including Microsoft CSR issues. The report illustrates the application of the major analytical strategic frameworks in business studies such as SWOT, PESTEL, Porter’s Five Forces, Value Chain analysis, Ansoff Matrix and McKinsey 7S Model on Microsoft. Moreover, the report contains analyses of Microsoft leadership, business strategy, organizational structure and organizational culture. The report also comprises discussions of Microsoft marketing strategy and its ecosystem.