Leading the Way with Sustainable Solutions

January 08, 2018

Over 40,000 employees eat and drink in Microsoft campus cafés and The Commons every single day–that’s 8.75 million diners annually! With those numbers to consider, sustainability drives all dining at Microsoft offerings. Committed to positively affecting the environment utilizing a multi-pronged approach, Dining at Microsoft, a Eurest account, targets harvesting methods, product processes, customer education and waste-stream reductions. Teaming with Microsoft Corporate Social Responsibility and the Green Restaurant Association allows all hospitality services to forge new territory in the green movement. In fact, Microsoft recently became the first technology company in the nation to earn Zero Waste Certification from the US Zero Waste Business Council (USZWBC).

Here are a few examples of how Dining at Microsoft has supported Microsoft’s sustainability goals:

3-STAR Green Restaurant Association CERTIFIED

All Dining at Microsoft on-campus cafés are 3-Star Green Restaurant Association (GRA) Certified. This allows employees to truly “dine green” during their workday. This certification was achieved via earning points for significantly improving environmental impact by reducing water and energy, recycling, purchasing organic and sustainable foods, and more.

A few contributing initiatives include:

  • Installing low-flow faucet aerators and spray valves to conserve water
  • Using non-toxic cleaning chemicals
  • Recycling waste grease

S.A.F.E. (Sustainable Alternative Food Enterprises) PROGRAM

Microsoft’s Silicon Valley Moffett Tower location (SVMT) is piloting the S.A.F.E. (Sustainable Alternative Food Enterprises) program. This program utilizes back-of-house (BOH) kitchen food scraps to create commercially viable dry animal feed including agricultural feed for non-ruminant animals, high protein dog treats and full diet dog food. S.A.F.E. has enabled back-of-house waste to be reduced by 33 percent.


Microsoft recently became the first technology company in the nation to earn Zero Waste Certification from the US Zero Waste Business Council (USZWBC). Dining at Microsoft contributed to this achievement in many ways.

The kitchen facilities at Microsoft (dining and catering) aim to be 96-percent waste-free, sending the least possible amount of waste to local landfills. Producing nearly zero-waste is achieved by using compostable and recyclable containers, china, cutlery, condiment packaging, and tableware, and by using specialty recycling techniques-such as fryer oil for bio diesel-being conscious of waste from food prep, and by using a database that analyzes the impact of all food-related products bought by Microsoft. In addition, food is made-to-order to avoid creating excess food.

Dining at Microsoft has also partnered with multiple vendors on the following efforts to support Zero Waste:

  • Worked with vistar distributing to pre-remove plastic six-pack rings
  • Refined the process for recycled pallet wrap
  • Worked with talking rain to eliminate the use of wraps on their cases

Click here to read the full 2017 Corporate Social Responsibility Report.