Microsoft installs solar-powered LFC biodigester

February 7, 2022

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES — Microsoft Gulf FZ LLC, the Microsoft Dubai office, is the regional office for the United Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait. It has topped the ‘Top 15 Companies to Work For in the UAE’ several times thanks to its commitment to the livelihood of its employees and the environment.

Microsoft set clear goals to become carbon negative, water positive, and zero waste by 2030 and purchased the LFC biodigester to help them achieve these goals. In 2021, the Microsoft Real Estate and Facilities Directorate (RE&F) team in Dubai implemented a unique initiative for their restaurant and facilities: a solar-powered LFC biodigester.

Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational technology company that produces computer software, hardware, and provides related services. Its flagship software products are the Windows operating system and Microsoft Office Suite. Its flagship hardware products are the XBox consoles and Surface tablets. While Microsoft has its headquarters in Washington, it has office locations in almost every country. 

Microsoft Gulf FZ LLC, the Microsoft Dubai office, is the regional office for the United Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait. It has topped the ‘Top 15 Companies to Work For in the UAE’ several times thanks to its commitment to the livelihood of its employees and the environment.

Microsoft set clear goals to become carbon negative, water positive, and zero waste by 2030 and purchased the LFC biodigester to help them achieve these goals. In 2021, the Microsoft Real Estate and Facilities Directorate (RE&F) team in Dubai implemented a unique initiative for their restaurant and facilities: a solar-powered LFC biodigester.

Microsoft President Brad Smith, Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood and CEO Satya Nadella preparing to announce Microsoft’s plan to be carbon negative by 2030. (Jan. 15, 2020/Photo by Brian Smale)

Carbon negative commitment

In the first month after installation, the average amount of organic waste digested by the LFC-

The President & Vice Chair of Microsoft, Brad Smith, has acknowledged that the world was facing an urgent carbon issue which was directly contributing to global warming. Every year, humanity generates more carbon dioxide than can be absorbed which increases the amount of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. In January 2020, Mr. Smith publicly announced Microsoft’s commitment to reduce and ultimately remove Microsoft’s carbon footprint. The plan is that by: 

  • 2030: Become carbon negative
  • 2050: Remove from the environment all the carbon Microsoft has emitted either directly or by electrical consumption since it was founded in 1975

Microsoft has also considered Scope 3 emissions as part of their greenhouse gas management. Scope 3 emissions are emissions that result from activities of assets that are not directly owned or managed by the organization. In the case of food, it would be how the food is produced and processed, and how the food waste is disposed of.

Innovation at Microsoft Dubai

As a part of t

Microsoft Dubai’s office is the regional office for the United Emirates and surrounding gulf countries. Their mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. As part of this initiative, Microsoft Dubai set out to find a sustainable solution for the food waste generated by their inhouse restaurants.

“We are committed to operate as efficiently as possible, and we are evolving to address our sustainability needs,” said Sharon McGrath Dawson, FM Country Lead – UA, Oman, and Qatar. 

The Microsoft Dubai management team saw a perfect opportunity to address the issues of food waste disposal created by the restaurants in the building. In collaboration with the Dubai Creative Group and Power Knot, Microsoft Dubai installed a unique rendition of the LFC-25 biodigester in 2021. This biodigester had been designed to operate on solar power rather than standard electricity and is the first of its kind.

Sustainability in the Microsoft Gulf

Restaurants and employees are able to use the solar-powered biodigester to digest organic waste. The LFC-25 biodigester is situated in the office hallway where it runs quietly and continuously. The machine is able to digest 10–75 kg (45–165 lb) of food waste per day. Employees have peace of mind when leaving the office as they are able to track operations remotely from their phones, tablets, and smart devices. The biodigester can continue to safely operate without any food entering the machine for prolonged periods of time. It runs continuously to avoid any accumulation of food waste. 

James Spearman, the UAE Sustainability lead at Microsoft, realized that, “By implementing the biodigester system here in our Dubai office, we’re able to process our food waste locally directly contributing to those three goals and making out office and ultimately, the planet, a more sustainable place to work.”

About Microsoft Corporation

Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational technology company that produces computer software, hardware, and provides related services. Its flagship software products are the Windows operating system and Microsoft Office Suite. Its flagship hardware products are the XBox consoles and Surface tablets. While Microsoft has its headquarters in Washington, it has office locations in almost every country. 

Industry: Technology

Location: Dubai