After much insistence the shareholders finally convinced Microsoft to ask its hardware suppliers to comply with the company’s social responsibility requirements. For years Microsoft has been trying to adopt a formal environmental sustainability policy in which they repeatedly failed.
Now the makers of hardware will be asked to go beyond good environmental behaviour and to adopt the full code of conduct specified by Microsoft.
The code of conduct includes issues of legal compliance, business ethics, labour and human rights standards, respect for intellectual property and environmental protection.
According to Microsoft, just two years ago, Nasdaq Sustainability Index booted off Microsoft “due to inadequate disclosure of quantitative environmental metrics.”
Environmentally active investors, from the last two shareholders meetings, are trying to pursue Microsoft to take board-level action in order to improve its sustainability track record.
Microsoft will ask select hardware vendors in its supply chain to file reports and submit to audits, the result of which will be published in Microsoft’s Citizenship Report. Current year’s report is available here.
Even though a dozen key vendors and contract hardware manufacturers will be affected by this, no names have been mentioned yet by Microsoft. In fact, Microsoft is asking the suppliers to publicise their own results as well.