As the Right to Repair movement grows, more tech companies are expanding repair options and announcing self repair programs to placate consumers. In 2021, advocacy group As You Sow proposed a shareholder resolution, to which Microsoft responded by commissioning an “Assessment of the greenhouse gas emissions and waste impacts from improving the repairability of Microsoft devices.”
The report was published April 22, and includes a comparison of the waste and GHG generation impacts of repairs by electronics factories in China and those performed by Microsoft authorized service providers (ASP). The report also took a closer look at the benefits of enabling device repair instead of replacement. As a result, the study revealed that users driving their vehicles to repair shops may increase the emission of GHGs, and as an alternative users should mail in their devices for repair to reduce GHG emissions.
Because ASP repair is only available for corporate customers with newer Microsoft devices, consultants on the study concluded that in addition to promoting mail in services, Microsoft should expand their repair locations and capabilities as well.
The shareholder resolution originally requested that the study explore and assess the impacts of potential right to repair laws that may arise at state and federal levels, as well as the impacts of making device repair easier for independent repair shops.
As part of the agreement with the advocacy group, Microsoft agreed to expand certain information beyond the ASP network and to make the necessary adjustments to expand repair policies across more devices, though this discussion was excluded from the executive report to protect the company’s confidential documents.