Earth Day 2024: Surfaces Commitment to Sustainability

By Alan Strakey
April 22, 2024

Explore Microsoft Surface’s commitment to sustainability this Earth Day! Learn how they integrate recycled materials, reduce carbon footprint, and promote energy efficiency in Surface devices.

Earth Day 2024: Surfaces Commitment to Sustainability

Happy Earth Day! Microsoft made an exciting announcement in 2020, sharing its ambitious goal to become a carbon-negative, water-positive, zero-waste organization by 2030 while also prioritizing ecosystem protection. Specifically, Surface's focus on sustainable practices is evident in its product design philosophy, which aligns with the principles of the circular economy. By 2030, Windows + Devices aims to ensure that all Surface devices and packaging are fully recyclable. 


Their latest commercial offerings, such as the Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6 business users, showcase their dedication to integrating sustainability into every aspect of product development.


More Recycled Materials

One notable initiative involves incorporating more recycled materials into Surface products to reduce carbon emissions. For instance, introducing recycled aluminum in devices like the Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6 marks a significant step forward. Microsoft's innovative approach includes recycling and reusing aluminum manufacturing scrap in device production processes, resulting in environmentally friendly enclosures made from low-carbon post-industrial recycled aluminum.


The metal enclosure parts for machining and finishing, as well as the final assembly of both devices, now utilize 100 percent carbon-free electricity.1


The Surface Pro 10's enclosure is crafted with at least 72 percent recycled materials, including 100 percent recycled aluminum alloy and rare earth metals.2 A similar approach is taken with the Surface Laptop 6, where the enclosure consists of at least 25.8 percent recycled content, incorporating 100 percent recycled aluminum alloy and rare earth metals.3


These new devices incorporate more recycled materials than their predecessors, the Surface Pro 9 and Laptop 5, showcasing their dedication to achieving their goals by 2030 with each new product release.


Microsoft's packaging for the Surface Laptop 6 features wood-based fiber and boasts a remarkable 76 percent recycled content. The Surface Pro 10 packaging boasts an impressive 78 percent recycled content.


Lower Carbon Footprint

To reduce carbon footprint throughout its lifecycle, a new section on Eco Profiles offers insights into carbon footprint reductions. The carbon footprint over the lifecycle of the Surface Pro 10 has been decreased by 28 percent compared to a baseline scenario with no interventions and by 22 percent for the 15-inch Surface Laptop 6.4 


More Energy Efficient

Microsoft is focused on achieving stringent third-party eco-labels and eco standards. Since 2019, all Surface Laptops and Pros have been EPEAT® Gold5 registered (the top rating level) and ENERGY STAR® certified. The Surface Pro 10 and Laptop 6 are Microsoft's most energy-efficient devices to date. For business purposes, they are 71 and 72 percent better than the ENERGY STAR® limit, respectively.


Windows 11 introduces more power-saving settings that help prolong battery life through reduced charging cycles. Additionally, Windows Update can schedule installations when lower carbon electricity sources power the grid, leading to reduced carbon emissions.7


More Repairable

Increased device repairabilitycan bring about substantial reductions in carbon emissions and waste. Microsoft's ongoing efforts in this area include designing Surface products that are easier to repair by offering more replacement components and expanded device repair options.


The Surface Pro 10 is Microsoft's most easily serviceable model of the Surface Pro series, while the Surface Laptop 6 boasts more replaceable components than its predecessor, Laptop 5. Both come with a QR code for easy repair guide access. The Surface Pro 10 features clear icons that indicate the number of screws and types of drivers needed for essential components.


Additionally, they offer extended driver and firmware support up to six years after their initial release,10 ensuring consistency for IT administrators throughout the device's lifecycle.


Easier Carbon Impact Tracking

Businesses can now monitor their estimated sustainability progress attributed to Surface devices using the  Surface Emissions Estimator on the Surface Management Portal. This tool provides a dynamic method for corporate clients to understand the environmental impact of their entire fleet of Surface devices. By utilizing advanced carbon assessment technologies and lifecycle evaluations, customers can estimate the carbon footprint associated with all active devices in the Surface portfolio.11


Microsoft takes pride in making strides toward achieving its established 2030 sustainability objectives. Sustainability is integrated at every phase of product development, from transitioning to carbon-neutral electricity in the supply chain to incorporating recycled materials in manufacturing processes, promoting energy efficiency during usage, and offering enhanced repair options. At end-of-life stages, they facilitate hassle-free and secure trade-ins for commercial clients through the Microsoft Trade-in Program in the United States.

Learn more about sustainability at Surface and read Microsoft’s annual sustainability report!



1. Microsoft defines carbon free electricity (CFE) technologies as including technologies with zero direct emissions and biogenic technologies with lifecycle emissions equivalent to renewables. CFE technologies include wind; solar; geothermal; sustainable biomass; hydropower; nuclear; fossil with complete carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration (CCUS); and storage charged with CFE generation. Microsoft acknowledges that CFE technologies have indirect carbon dioxide emissions and these are accounted for in our LCAs. CFE transition in the supply chain includes the onsite generation and purchase of verified Energy Attribute Certificates (EACs) by suppliers that are allocated to Microsoft-specific production volumes

2. Enclosure includes Bucket and Kickstand. 100% recycled aluminum alloy in Bucket and Kickstand. 100% recycled rare earth metals in magnets. Based on validation performed by Underwriter Laboratories, Inc. using Environmental Claim Validation Procedure, UL 2809-2, Second Edition, November 7, 2023.

3. Enclosure includes A Cover, C Cover and D Bucket. 100% recycled aluminum alloy in A Cover. 100% recycled rare earth metals in magnets. Based on validation performed by Underwriter Laboratories, Inc. using Environmental Claim Validation Procedure for Recycled Content, UL 2809-2, Second Edition, November 7, 2023.

4. The baseline (no interventions) scenario models the same product without any sustainability interventions in the production phase of the device: (a) no additional renewable energy in the supply chain beyond what is already modeled in the regional grid mixes from Ecoinvent v3.9.1, (b) the carbon footprint of materials and manufacturing processes assuming no recycled content or additional ecodesign interventions as of the date of Ecoprofile, and (c) the default US distribution, use, and end of life modeling assumptions of Surface Pro 10 for Business.

5. Please refer to the EPEAT registry for current ratings. Ratings can vary by country, may change over time, and products are eventually archived.

6. Based on comparison of ENERGY STAR® ratings

7. When devices are plugged in, turned on, connected to the Internet and where regional carbon intensity data is available from WattTime. See site for details. 

8. Replacement components available through Surface Commercial authorized device resellers. Components can be replaced on-site by a skilled technician following Microsoft’s Service Guide. Microsoft tools (sold separately) may also be required. Availability of replacement components and service options may vary by product, market and over time. See [Surface service options - Surface | Microsoft Learn].Opening and/or repairing your device can present electric shock, fire and personal injury risks and other hazards. Use caution if undertaking do-it-yourself repairs. Unless required by law, device damage caused during repair will not be covered under Microsoft’s Hardware Warranty or protection plans. 

9. Based on Microsoft-commissioned assessment of greenhouse gas emissions and waste impacts prepared by Oakdene Hollins in April 2022 comparing device replacement to factory repair and Microsoft ASP repair.

10. The extended driver and firmware support applies to devices that were made generally available in 2021 and later. See Surface driver and firmware lifecycle for Windows-based devices – Surface | Microsoft Learn for more details.

11. The Microsoft Surface Emissions Estimator is only available in certain markets and only applies to Surface devices currently for sale. Contact your Surface seller for more details.