The materials we at Microsoft Mobile choose for our packaging are selected to offer the best, most beautiful and most protective solution with least environmental impact. An effective way to reduce the environmental impact of packaging is through making the sales packages smaller, selecting sustainable materials and making sure packaging can be recycled when it’s no longer needed.

We want to ensure that all materials used in our mobile devices come from socially and environmentally responsible sources. For fiber based printing and packaging materials our aim is to use 100% certified renewable or recycled materials by 2015. We accept certifications by Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and / or The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) with priority on the former. We also target to use at least 70% of recycled fibers on average across all packaging.

All our packages are 100% recyclable. More than 95% are made from renewable fiber based materials, of which 66 % is recycled. Each part is individually marked with ISO standard recycle markings in order to harmonize the experience for our customers. We do this on a global level, hoping that other companies will follow suit. To enable clean recycling, we don’t combine plastic and paper materials into single component.

The first Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified packages were for Nokia N9 and Nokia Lumia 800 in 2011. During 2012, more than half of all the virgin wood fibers used in our paper packaging came from certified sources. This is just the beginning of what we expect to see in coming years.

Small package makes a big difference

For years, we've been working on reducing the sizes of our product packaging. Not only are we designing packages with fewer and lighter parts, but the contents of the packages are getting smaller and lighter as well. Smaller chargers, shorter user manuals and fewer language variants per package, fewer components in the average box, and tighter wrapping of cabled accessories all allow for smaller packages.

Between 2005 and 2010, we reduced the packaging size of our most affordable devices by over 70%. This amounts to 240,000 tonnes of saved paper. Smaller and lighter packaging has also reduced transportation needs. In theory, we now only need one third of the trucks to transport these products.

packaging impact

Already in 2006 Nokia introduced small, compact packaging which consequently has become the industry standard for mobile phones. Our compact packages are made of a single piece corrugated paper material, which makes them much easier to recycle.

We only use plastic in Nokia Accessory packaging and as bags to protect the contents of our packages from getting scratched. Plastics account for less than 3% of our total packaging material use.  We’re constantly working with suppliers to increase the amount of recycled material in our packaging.

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