Microsoft could see a radical change in its repair policy by the end of 2022, after signing a deal with environmental investor groups. The company has historically opposed offering official repair parts and instructions for its Xbox consoles and accessories, but that could change next year.
The deal was made with As You Sow, a nonprofit group that tries to convince companies to change policies to help the environmental cause. One of the flags raised by the group is that encouraging users to repair their accessories instead of throwing them away and buying new ones can have a very positive impact on the environment, reducing the accumulation of electronic waste.
The Xbox owner has agreed to hire an independent third-party consultancy that will assess the company’s impact on releasing the original parts for sale and its official repair instructions. The agreement stipulates that, if the consultancy concludes that the impacts will be really positive for the environment and without major harm to Microsoft, the company will become “pro-repairs” by the end of 2022.
The change would be a shift in Microsoft’s policy that, to this day, not only discourages repairs, but has actively worked to prevent them. The company is known for its lobbying lawmakers to ban laws that encourage repair policies, so this change would be very radical and very quick.
The results of the consultancy contracted by Microsoft will be released until May 2022, at which time we must have a final position for the company.