Microsoft formalizes policy on responsible materials sourcing

As the company moves forward as One Microsoft, we must do an extraordinary job of overcoming complex social and environmental challenges throughout our packaging and hardware supply chain. Recently, we formalized our values and approach around upstream responsible sourcing through “Microsoft’s Responsible Sourcing of Raw Materials” policy.

What’s changed in our thinking? We are extending our positive influence to the furthest reaches of our upstream supply chain – all the way to harvested and extracted materials. This is a natural evolution of our Supplier Social and Environmental Accountability (SEA) program. In 2005, we began holding our contracted suppliers accountable to the ethical business, labor, environmental and worker safety practices outlined in our Supplier Code of Conduct. Since then, we’ve expanded our vision for SEA from operating responsibly to operating sustainably. Throughout our supply chain, we are committed to empowering people to do their best while preserving and sustainably using resources and upholding human rights, safety and business ethics.

Our approach is unbounded by specific materials and locations. We are dedicated to achieving our extended responsible sourcing strategy through building capabilities across industry sectors, supporting electronics industry efforts and exercising supply chain due diligence. We also set clear expectations for our suppliers’ sourcing of raw materials.

Impact and influence are keys to our success, and we believe collaboration is the best avenue to establish global responsible practices for sourcing of raw materials. For example, we have now expanded our collaborative efforts to the upstream mining industry through direct participation in and support of The Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA), PACT and The Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) to holistically cover end-to-end mining sustainability, from artisanal to larger mining enterprises. We are also keen to maintain our support of electronics industry supply chain efforts through the Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative.

Microsoft continuously innovates and believes that transparency and collaboration can help identify opportunities for advancing our policy. We have shared our list of manufacturing suppliers since 2013. Our Corporate Citizenship Report describes our supply chain practices including our efforts to support a conflict minerals-free electronic supply chain. We will share additional details on our conflict minerals program in future Securities and Exchange Commission disclosures. We are working to further improve the relevance and quality of the information provided about the content and source of materials used in our products.

We welcome your comments and ideas. Let us know what you think about Microsoft’s approach to Responsible Sourcing of Raw Materials at ecteam@microsoft.com.

About the Author

Corporate Vice President, Manufcturing, Supply Chain & Information Services, Microsoft