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Ethical brand ratings and accreditation since 2001

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How ethical and sustainable is Microsoft? 

Microsoft is listed in the Ethical PCs, Laptops, and Tablets Ratings Table of The Good Shopping Guide. Microsoft has not yet met our ethical criteria, but we think that the brand will make the necessary adjustments in the future to operate as a more ethical organisation. The computer brand may boost consumer trust by applying for Ethical Accreditation, which includes a more
thorough review and provision of ethical growth ideas.

More information on the necessity of ethical laptops may be found in The Good Shopping Guide to Sustainable & Ethical Computers. Then, in our Ethical PCs, Laptops and Tablets Ratings Table compare it to other brands.

What does Microsoft do?

Microsoft is a multinational computer technology company founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen. The brand sells a large range of PCs, Phones as well as many different Microsoft 325 services. Microsoft is a part of the Microsoft Corporation.

For which criteria does Microsoft perform poorly? 

Microsoft received a low rating for its Nuclear Power concerns, Political Donations and Human Rights issues. Microsoft partnered with TerraPraxis on software to help coal plants transition to nuclear power and donated over $40 million in recent election cycles. The brand has been accused of buying gold from illegal mines and enabling ‘workplace surveillance’ after the brand’s ‘productivity score’ feature allows managers to use Microsoft 365 to track employees’ activity at an individual level.

Past Criticisms of Microsoft’s ethical record

Microsoft faced criticism after Corporate Accountabilities report stated that its Net Zero climate commitments are anything but real actions. The brand was also criticised for making products that are expensive and not easy to repair; read more on ‘inbuilt obsolescence’ here.

In what areas does Microsoft score well for its ethics?

Microsoft receives a high score for its Environmental Report containing evidence of progress and carbon emission, water, waste and land protection targets. The brand receives EPEAT and
Energy Star labels on its products and has a strong Code of Conduct. Microsoft is also a member of the RMI and has a Conflict Minerals report detailing the steps the company is taking to reduce the risk of these materials in its supply chain.

How can Microsoft improve its Ethical Rating?

The Ethical Rating of a brand is divided into three categories by The Good Shopping Guide: the Environment, People and Animals.

Microsoft might apply for Ethical Accreditation for more detailed guidance on how to improve its sustainability, and meet its ESG and CSR targets.

The brand may improve its rating and fulfil our fundamental ethical requirements by tackling the Human Rights issues associated with the brand and ceasing all Political Donations.

Why not check out The Good Shopping Guide’s Ethical Accreditation if you work for or with a PC, Laptop or Tablet company that places ethics high on its priority list?

Contact us to learn more about Ethical Accreditation, or complete our short form for an initial sustainability evaluation.

Ethical performance in category


GSG score


GSG category benchmark


Ethical Rating


  • Environmental Report


  • Nuclear Power


  • Eco Labels


  • Fossil Fuels



  • Animal Welfare



  • Armaments


  • Code of Conduct


  • Political Donations


  • Human Rights


  • Conflict Minerals



  • Ethical Accreditation


  • Other Criticisms


= GSG Top Rating = GSG Middle Rating = GSG Bottom Rating