Green Business Certification, Inc. (GBCI) recently announced that Microsoft Corp. in Redmond, where more than 44,000 employees work in 125 buildings, has achieved a gold-level Zero Waste Facility Certification.
Through the certification, Microsoft is helping to protect the environment by diverting 90 percent of its waste from its headquarters from landfills and incineration.
According to a GBCI press release, the organization audited the zero-waste diversion processes at Microsoft and found the facility is successfully reducing, reusing, recycling and composting at an unprecedented rate.
“Companies pursuing Zero Waste Facility Certification must meet very stringent standards in order to achieve gold certification,” said Stephanie Barger, director of market development at GBCI. “Microsoft has demonstrated not only tremendous leadership in successfully implementing zero-waste strategies, but also an inspiring commitment to achieve still higher levels of performance.”
The release states that the goal of businesses participating in the certification program is to divert all end-use material from landfills, incineration and the environment, while achieving a minimum of 90 percent diversion.
“Protecting the environment is something that Microsoft and our employees believe in strongly,” said Susan Wagner, senior director of Microsoft Real Estate and Facilities. “We are grateful for this recognition by GBCI and look forward to building on our work to reduce waste at our Redmond headquarters.”
According to the release, Microsoft’s Redmond facility has excelled in the following areas to date:
Sorting of waste to maximize recycling and composting of materials, which equates to about 87 percent of waste on campus that is diverted from landfills.
Cultivating sustainable, urban farming methods such as hydroponic grow towers in cafes that grow lettuce and microgreens used by campus chefs. While the grow towers are visually stunning, they are also efficient — hydroponics use up to 90 percent less water than conventional farming.
Achieving sustainability goals across 33 cafés, 32 espresso cafés and more than 500 kitchenettes on campus. Of all the food, packaging and other dining-related waste generated, 99.5 percent is being diverted from landfills.
Reuse programs to extend the life of office supplies, furnishings and computer equipment. Items such as surplus binders, power cords, laptops and whiteboards are made available to others around campus via an onsite/online “store.” In addition, furniture is repaired, reused whenever possible and often donated to nonprofits through a global furniture reuse program.