Environmental safeguards


At Microsoft, we employ various safeguards to protect against environmental threats to datacenter availability. These safeguards enable us to provide the secure and available cloud platform trusted by our customers.

Site selection

Protecting Microsoft datacenters from environmental hazards begins with site selection. Microsoft datacenter locations undergo stringent assessment prior to selection for datacenter construction. Our sites are strategically selected to minimize risk from several factors, including floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. In addition to minimizing environmental risk, access to low-cost energy and reliable telecommunications infrastructure are among the key factors that influence datacenter site selection.

Climate control

Climate control is a fundamental component of the critical infrastructure within a datacenter and is utilized to monitor and maintain optimized conditioned spaces for both staff and equipment/hardware. Heat-load (as a biproduct of energy consumption) and humidity need to be managed to ensure suitable operational conditions through mechanical intervention. Local climate conditions, various regulatory requirements, and constraints will dictate the most efficient way for it to be achieved.

Fire and water damage protection

Microsoft employs state-of-the-art fire detection and suppression systems within each datacenter facility. Fire prevention systems are supported by an independent energy source to ensure protection of our employees and infrastructure if there is a fire. Datacenter facilities are also protected from water damage by water sensors placed in areas deemed to have leakage risk. These water sensors quickly notify appropriate personnel if there is a water-related emergency. Water shutoff valves are designed to be accessible, and employees are trained in their operation and location.

Health and safety

The commitment to the health and safety of our people at Microsoft underpins everything that we do and is fundamental to how we measure our success. Microsoft datacenters operate in accordance with local, regional, and federal health and safety regulations. In most cases, our health and safety policies exceed government and regulatory requirements to ensure we protect the health, safety, and wellbeing of all datacenter workers during all phases of the datacenter lifecycle, from construction to decommissioning. Safety Management Plans, risk assessment, High Risk Activity management, and safety training are central tenets of our approach to providing a safe work environment for all.

Energy efficiency

Microsoft has operated carbon neutral since 2012. By 2030 Microsoft will be carbon negative, and by 2050 Microsoft will have removed from the environment all the carbon the company has emitted either directly or by electrical consumption since it was founded in 1975. By 2025, our datacenters will be supplied by 100 percent renewable energy. To accomplish this, we implement contracting tools such as proxy generation power purchase agreements for green energy to supply 100 percent of the carbon-emitting electricity consumed by all our datacenters.