Holding company that owns several gaming studios including id Software, Arkane Studios, and Bethesda Game Studios. Acquired by Microsoft in 2020.
|ZeniMax Media Inc||USA||website|
| Xbox Game Studios
owns 100% of ZeniMax Media Inc
Microsoft division formerly known as Microsoft Studios. Parent company to fifteen games studios, which primarily makes games for PC and Xbox. Acquired Minecraft developers Mojang in 2013 for US$2.5 billion, and ZeniMax Media in 2021 for US$7.5 billion. In Jan 2022 Microsoft announced in will buy Activision Blizzard for US$69 billion, creating the world's third largest video game company after Tencent and Sony.
| Microsoft Corporation
owns 100% of Xbox Game Studios
World's #1 software company. One of the 3 big computer game console makers, along with Nintendo and Sony. Products include Windows, Office, Xbox, LinkedIn and Skype.
|ZeniMax Media Inc|
During the development of Doom Eternal, developers at Zenimax's id Software "were crunching pretty hard most of last year", despite delays in the release date. Excessive overtime (crunch) fosters an environment of stress, panic, and sleepless nights that compromises the health and wellbeing of workers, and deprives workers of the rest necessary to be productive.
Source: Game Daily (2020)
Valve and five video game makers, including this company, have been the target of a European Commission investigation since 2017. The six companies have been charged with using geo-blocking to prevent EU consumers from shopping around for the best video game deals within the 28-country bloc. This company plans to settle the case.
Source: news article (2019)
|Xbox Game Studios|
|No assessment data currently available for Xbox Game Studios|
This company is listed on the EPA Green Power Partnership website (USA) as using renewable energy for 100% of its organisation-wide electricity use in the USA.
Source: EPA (2023)
In 2022, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) asked companies to provide data about their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change risk. Responding companies are scored across four key areas: disclosure; awareness; management; and leadership. This company received a CDP Climate Change Score of A.
Source: CDP (2022)
As You Sow's 2022 report, 'Road to Zero Emissions', assessed the progress of 55 of the largest U.S. corporations in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in line with the Paris Agreement's objective of limiting global average temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, which requires achieving "net zero" emissions by 2050. Companies are graded on: climate related disclosures; GHG reduction targets, and GHG reductions. This company received an Overall Net Zero grade of A.
Source: As You Sow (2022)
In 2022, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) asked companies to provide data about their efforts to manage and govern freshwater resources. Responding companies are scored on six key metrics: transparency; governance & strategy; measuring & monitoring; risk assessment; targets & goals; and value chain engagement. This company received a CDP Water Security Score of A-.
Source: CDP (2022)
As You Sow's 2019 report, Mining the Disclosures, is a deep analysis of 215 companies' human rights performance in relation to sourcing conflict minerals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). This company's score was 83.8% (Leading).
Source: As You Sow (2019)
America's Most Responsible Companies 2022 by Newsweek and Statista recognises the Top 500 most responsible companies in the United States. Companies were evaluated in three areas: environmental (waste, energy use, etc.), social (leadership diversity, employees and philanthropy) and governance (transparency and economic performance). This company received a total score of 86.3/100, ranking 2nd in the Software & Telecommunications sector, and 32nd overall.
Source: Newsweek (2021)
JUST Capital polls Americans every year to identify the issues that matter most in defining just business behaviour. For their 2023 rankings JUST Capital asked a representative sample of 3,002 Americans to compare 20 different business Issues on a head-to-head basis, producing a reliable hierarchy of Issues ranked in order of priority. Issues are organised under the headings Workers, Customers, Communities, the Environment, or Shareholders & Governance. JUST Capital then define metrics that map to those issues and track and analyse the largest, publicly traded U.S. companies. This analysis powers their rankings, in which this company ranked 3rd of 951 companies, and 1st of 63 Software companies.
Source: JUST Capital (2023)
Greenpeace's 2017 report 'Clicking Clean' looks at the energy footprints of large data centre operators and popular websites and applications, and calls on these companies to power their data centres on renewable energy. Companies are graded (A,B,C,D,F) on their commitment to and procurement of renewable energy, as well as energy efficiency, transparency and advocacy. This company's final grade was B.
Source: Greenpeace (2017)
InfluenceMap's 2021 A-List of Climate Policy Engagement identifies 15 corporate leaders advocating for ambitious climate policy across a range of sectors and regions. To qualify, a company must exhibit sufficient support for ambitious climate policy, strategic levels of engagement with climate policy, and leadership in its sector. Links to industry associations egregiously opposing climate policy can disqualify a company from the list. The report also offers 21 'Potential Leaders', including his company, which appear to be on the right track.
Source: Influence Map (2021)
In November 2017 the Enough Project published Demand the Supply, which ranked consumer electronics and jewelry retail companies on their efforts to develop conflict-free minerals supply chains from Congo. Companies were ranked on reporting; sourcing conflict-free minerals from Congo; supporting the artisanal mining communities in Eastern Congo; and conflict-free minerals advocacy. This company received a score of 73/120.
Source: Enough Project (2017)
B+ grade in the Baptist World Aid Australia's Behind the Barcode 'Ethical Electronics Guide 2016', which grades companies on their efforts to mitigate the risks of forced labour, child labour and worker exploitation throughout their supply chains. Assessment criteria fall into four main categories: policies, traceability & transparency, monitoring & training and worker rights.
Source: Baptist World Aid Australia (2016)
This company is listed as having best practice on a report card on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality in corporate America.
Source: Human Rights Campaign (2021)
In 2020/21 KnowTheChain benchmarked over 180 large global companies in the ICT, Food & Beverage, and Apparel & Footwear sectors on their efforts to address forced labour and human trafficking in their supply chains. This company received a score of 59/100.
Source: KnowTheChain (2021)
A 2017 report by Amnesty International, 'Time to Recharge' ranks major electronics and car companies on how much they have improved their cobalt sourcing practices since January 2016. The report found that while a handful of companies have made progress, many are still not doing enough to stop human rights abuses entering their cobalt supply chains, even though their products could be linked to child labour in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This company was rated 'no action taken'.
Source: Amnesty Intl (2017)
The Chinese government has facilitated the mass transfer of Uyghur and other ethnic minority citizens from the far west region of Xinjiang to factories across the country. Under conditions that strongly suggest forced labour, Uyghurs are working in factories that are in the supply chains of at least 83 well-known global brands in the technology, clothing and automotive sectors, including brands owned by this company. The Australian Strategic Policy Institute's 2020 report estimates (somewhat conservatively) that more than 80,000 Uyghurs were transferred out of Xinjiang to work in factories across China between 2017 and 2019, and some of them were sent directly from detention camps.
Source: ASPI (2020)
'The Big Con' is a 2021 report by Corporate Accountability, Friends of the Earth and others that makes clear that Big Polluters' idea of "net zero" is part of their continued plan to protect deeply unjust global systems, distract from taking the real action needed, and to evade responsibility for the climate crisis and to continue to pollute. This company was named in the report as one whose "net zero" climate commitments are anything but real action.
Source: Corporate Accountability (2021)
This company was among the US Top 20 Defense Contractors derived from the 2019 Washington Technology Top 100 list, based on their 2018 defense contract revenue. Microsoft was number 52 with a defense revenue of US$366 million.
Source: Washington Technology (2019)
Engineers from ifixit.com disassembled and analysed a range of smartphones, tablets and laptops, awarding each a repairability score between one and ten. Ten is the easiest to repair. A device with a perfect score will be relatively inexpensive to repair because it is easy to disassemble and has a service manual available. Points are docked based on the difficulty of opening the device, the types of fasteners found inside, and the complexity involved in replacing major components. Points are awarded for upgradability, use of non-proprietary tools for servicing, and component modularity. Products released by this company between 2017 and 2019 scored between 0 and 6 points.
Source: iFixit (2020)
As You Sow's 2021 report, 'The 100 Most Overpaid CEOs', reveals the 100 most overpaid CEOs from USA's 500 largest public companies (as determined by the S&P 500 list). This company's CEO, Satya Nadella came in at number 24 on the list, having been paid US$42,910,215 in 2020. According to the report, "Most CEOs have come to be grossly overpaid, and that overpayment is harmful to the companies, the shareholders, the customers, the other employees, the economy, and society as a whole."
Source: As You Sow (2021)
The European Union fined this company 561m euros (US$731m)for failing to comply with a 2009 agreement relating to its practice of automatically installing Internet Explorer as the browser for Windows customers. Microsoft had agreed to pay an 860m euro (US$1.2b) fine and offer a choice of browsers in the future. It then violated the agreement from May 2011 to July 2012 affecting 15 million installations and was sanctioned for its failure to comply.
Source: Spiegel Online International 06.03.2013 (2013)
On 22 July 2019 the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission announced that Microsoft Corporation agreed to pay more than $16 million to settle charges that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in connection with its operations in four different foreign based subsidiaries (Hungary, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and Turkey). Microsoft Hungary also agreed to pay a criminal fine of $8,751,795 on related charges.
Source: US SEC (2019)
This company is on OpenSecrets.org's list of "Top Donors", a list of the 100 biggest givers in US federal-level politics since 1990. Companies on this list lobby and spend big, with large sums sent to candidates, parties and leadership PACs. This company comes in at number 24 on the list, with contributions totalling $76,460,490 between 1990 and 2020.
Source: Open Secrets (2020)
The Invest Your Values Corporate Retirement Plan Sustainability Scorecard by As You Sow rates retirement plans on seven environmental and social sustainability issues. This company's default corporate retirement plan offered to employees is the BlackRock BTC LifePath which is rated Fair for gender equality and civilian firearms, and Poor for fossil fuels, deforestation, prison industrial complex, military weapons and tobacco.
Source: As You Sow (2022)
The Electronics TakeBack Coalition's Recycling Report Card evaluates takeback and recycling programs for computer, TV, printer and game console companies. The report card focuses on the programs available to consumers in the US, and relies on publicly available information, as of Sept 2010. This company received a grade of D- for its recycling efforts in the USA.
Source: Electronics TakeBack Coalition (2010)
Identified in 'The Big Chill: Too Scared to Speak' report which identified Chinese Olympic Sponsors response to Darfur crisis in Sudan. Received a D-. These companies received a grade slightly higher than outright failure because they met with the campaign.
Source: Dream for Dafur (2008)
In 2009, Microsoft advertised its new 'green' version of Windows with a widespread campaign, but it has also been encouraging consumers to increase their carbon footprint by buying a new computer early in order to make the most of the 'green' software. Consumers International therefore charged Microsoft with greenwashing. [Listed under information due to age of award]
Source: Consumers International (2009)
Major corporations, including this one, use prison labour in the USA, where prisoners are paid slave wages as low as 23 cents an hour doing work which is often dangerous, toxic and unprotected. While much of the work done by prisoners is for the military, other major corporations are taking advantage of the cheap labour in both federal and state US prisons.
Source: Global Research (2013)
This 2015 report by Good Electronics rates electronics companies on their compliance with labour rights in Mexico. This company was rated 'insufficient'.
Source: Good Electronics (2015)
As documented by the Project of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), this company is involved in the USA prison industry. Microsoft provides tools and infrastructure used by the US government to surveil immigrant communities and to manage prisons. Divested AnyVision for surveilling Palestinians but keeps providing services to the Israeli police.
Source: AFSC (2021)
In 2019 the median pay for a worker at this company was US$172,512. The CEO was paid 249 times this amount. Exorbitant CEO pay is a major contributor to rising inequality. CEOs are getting more because of their power to set pay, not because they are increasing productivity or possess specific, high-demand skills. The economy would suffer no harm if CEOs were paid less (or taxed more). In contrast, the CEO-to-typical-worker compensation ratio was 20-to-1 in 1965 and 58-to-1 in 1989.
Source: AFL-CIO (2020)
In 2012, this company lost its appeal against a fine imposed by the European Commission in 2008 for breaking antitrust laws. The case began in 1988, a 497m euro fine was imposed in 2004 along with orders to allow competitors' products to interface properly with Microsoft's server software, a further penalty of 280.3m euros was imposed in 2006 for non-compliance and another penalty of 899m euros in 2008. In 2012, the Grand Court adjusted the 2008 penalty for miscalculation to 860m euros so the case cost Microsoft a total 1.64b euros in fines and penalties. [Listed under Information due to age of court finding]
Source: news article (2012)
This company is a member of the Playing for the Planet Alliance, a group of gaming-companies who have made voluntary, ambitious, specific, and time-based commitments for people and planet. Commitments involve: Corporate carbon footprint reductions and a collective shift to green energy; insertion of green nudges into games; commitments to offset emissions (from internal operations and gamers' devices); new circular economy design and recycling offerings to control plastic and e-waste.
Source: Playing for the Planet (2020)
As listed on the We Mean Business website, this company has committed to the following climate action initiatives: adopt a science-based emissions reduction target; commit to 100% renewable power.
Source: We Mean Business (2021)
This 2016 scorecard by SOMO compares electronics companies on their policies and efforts regarding responsible mining and the elimination of child labour, with special attention to the mining of gold. This company is above industry standard on 5 out of 7 criteria.
Source: Stop Child Labour (2016)
This company has Corporate Social Responsibility claims on its website including in the areas of global giving and sustainability.
Source: company website (2020)
This company is a member of the Circular Economy 100 (CE100) Network, a multi-stakeholder platform run by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. The CE100 is the world's leading circular economy network, and facilitates market making by providing collaborative and pre-competitive opportunities which bring together business, innovators, cities and governments, universities, and thought leaders.
Source: Ellen MacArthur Foundation (2019)
This company is a participant in the Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade (PPA), a multi-sector and multi-stakeholder initiative to support supply chain solutions to conflict minerals challenges in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Great Lakes Region (GLR) of Central Africa. The PPA provides funding and coordination support to organizations working within the region to develop verifiable conflict-free supply chains; align chain-of-custody programs and practices; encourage responsible sourcing from the region; promote transparency; and bolster in-region civil society and governmental capacity.
Source: PPA (2019)
This company is a member of the Responsible Business Alliance (formerly the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition), a non-profit coalition of electronics companies which supports the rights and wellbeing of workers and communities worldwide affected by the global electronics supply chain. RBA members commit and are held accountable to a common Code of Conduct and utilize a range of RBA training and assessment tools to support continuous improvement in the social, environmental and ethical responsibility of their supply chains.
Source: RBA (2022)
This company is a member of the Responsible Minerals Initiative (formerly the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative), which helps companies address conflict minerals issues in their supply chains. The RMI provides information on conflict-free smelters and refiners, common tools to gather sourcing information, and forums for exchanging best practices on addressing conflict minerals. Membership is open to companies that use or transact in tantalum, tin, tungsten or gold (3TG). Founded in 2008 by members of the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative.
Source: RMI (2019)
The United Nations Global Compact asks companies to embrace, support and enact, within their sphere of influence, a set of 10 values in the areas of human rights, labour standards, the environment, and anti-corruption. However it's non-binding nature has been widely criticised, and many signatory corporations continue to violate the Compact's values.
Source: UN Global Compact (2020)
This company is a signatory to WRAP's Electrical and Electronic Equipment Action Plan (esap). Signatories take collective action to reduce their environmental impact and sign up to contribute to the development and implementation of esap.
Source: WRAP (2017)
This company received a grade of C- in the Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics (Oct 2017), which assesses companies from the electronics industry across three impact areas: energy use, resource consumption, and chemical elimination. Of the 17 companies ranked, this company came sixth.
Source: Greenpeace (2017)
This company received a score of 46.2/100 (retrieved 10-Oct-2020) in the Corporate Information Transparency Index (CITI), a system for evaluating supply chain practices in China, particularly in regards to environmental management and water pollution. Scores are calculated using government compliance data, online monitoring data, and third-party environmental audits, as well as trends in the environmental performance of factories in the company's supply chains.
Source: IPE (2020)
The 2022 Corporate Human Rights Benchmark assessed 127 companies in the food and agriculture, ICT and automotive manufacturing sectors on their human rights performance. This company received a score of 28.8%. The overall average score was a disappointing 17.3% and the highest score was 50.3%.
Source: World Benchmarking Alliance (2022)
California, the UK and Australia have all enacted legislation requiring companies operating within their borders to disclose their efforts to eradicate modern slavery from their operations and supply chains. Follow the link to see this company's disclosure statement.
Source: company website (2018)
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre digital platform presents news and allegations relating to the human rights impact of over 20,000 companies. Their enhanced Company Dashboards also include financial information, key data points based on corporate policies, and scores from prominent civil society benchmarks. Follow the link and use the search function to view this company's dashboard.
Source: BHRRC (2022)
OpenSecrets.org tracks the influence of money on U.S. politics, and how that money affects policy and citizens' lives. Follow link to see this company's record of political donations, lobbying, outside spending and more.
Source: Open Secrets (2020)
This company received an S&P Global ESG Score of 56/100 in the Software category of the S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment, an annual evaluation of companies' sustainability practices (last updated 16 Dec 2022). The rankings are based on an analysis of corporate economic, environmental and social performance, assessing issues such as corporate governance, risk management, environmental reporting, climate strategy, human rights and labour practices.
Source: S&P Global (2022)
Criticism of Microsoft has followed various aspects of its products and business practices. Issues with ease of use, robustness, and security of the company's software are common targets for critics. Microsoft is also accused of locking vendors and consumers into their products, and of not following and complying with existing standards in its software. The company has been the subject of numerous lawsuits by several governments and other companies for unlawful monopolistic practices.
Source: Wikipedia (2014)
|Subsidiaries||Bethesda Softworks LLC
ZeniMax Australia Pty Ltd
Australian office opened in 2013. Oversees sales, marketing, and distribution for all Bethesda titles in Australia and New Zealand.
|Address||Rockville, Maryland, USA|
Products / BrandsZeniMax Media
Dishonoured Action-Adventure Games
Doom Action Games
Fallout Action-Adventure Games
Fallout Role-playing Games
Prey Action-Adventure Games
Quake Action Games
Quake Multiplayer Games
Rage Action-Adventure Games
The Elder Scrolls Action-Adventure Games
The Elder Scrolls Role-playing Games
Wolfenstein Action-Adventure Games