Published in PC Hardware

Microsoft shareholders demand easier to repair products

by on28 June 2021

Shareholder resolution

Microsoft shareholders have filed a resolution demanding the company consider making its products easier to repair.

As You Sow, a non-profit that specialises in shareholder advocacy delivered the shareholder resolution. According to As You Sow, the right to repair is important to Microsoft's shareholders because discarded electronics are destroying the world's environment, and Microsoft has pledged to help it stop.

"Microsoft is a corporate leader in pledging to take substantial action to reduce climate emissions; yet our Company actively restricts consumer access to device repairability, undermining our sustainability commitments by failing to recognize a fundamental principle of electronics sustainability: that overall device environmental impact is principally determined by the length of its useful lifetime", the shareholders' resolution said.

In a 2020 blog post, Vole said it will invest in climate innovation and eliminate single use plastics, but it's been quiet about the repair.

Kelly McBee, waste programme coordinator for As You Sow said that while Vole positions itself as a leader on climate and the environment, it facilitates premature landfilling of its devices by restricting consumer access to device reparability.

"To take genuine action on sustainability and ease pressure on the extraction of limited resources including precious metals, the company must extend the useful life of its devices by facilitating widespread access to repair."

The shareholder resolution is demanding that the Board "prepare a report, at a reasonable cost and omitting proprietary information, on the environmental and social benefits of making Company devices more easily repairable by consumers and independent repair shops". Shareholders want this report to assess the "benefits or harms of making instructions, parts, and/or tools for our products more readily available" and "the impact of potential state and federal legislation that requires all electronics companies to improve repair access and repairability".

Windows 11, anyone?  

Last modified on 28 June 2021
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