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Microsoft in your community

Looking back on ten years in North Holland

2023 marks a decade since Microsoft joined the North Holland community and began building our first datacenter. Datacenters are the infrastructure that hosts cloud computing which enables us to work remotely with colleagues, use online banking, order food from our favorite restaurants, or communicate with our doctors in a secure way. Over the past ten years, we’ve enjoyed getting to know community members, businesses, municipalities, and government leaders alike. We’ve worked to understand and support the needs of the community with the aim of creating a positive and lasting impact on the economic, social, and environmental well-being of North Holland.


Microsoft and the Netherlands are aligned in establishing ambitious sustainability commitments. Through our listening sessions, we heard that communities near our Middenmeer operations also strongly believe in the importance of sustainability. Thanks to their feedback, we have launched several key pilots in North Holland including:

  • Reusing hardware waste with circular centers – In 2020, Microsoft’s first circular center opened in Middenmeer (Noord-Holland), a program so successful, we now have six facilities worldwide and by 2025, 90 percent of servers and components within our regional datacenter network will be reused.
  • Reducing water with rainwater capture – Middenmeer is home to one of our first global rainwater capture programs. The collected water is used as an alternative source to help offset the needs for humidification. The Microsoft Netherlands’ new data centers use outside air and zero water for cooling when the temperature is below 29.4 degrees Celsius, reducing cooling water consumption to less than 5 percent of the year.
  • Restoring ecosystems at our Hollands Kroon facility – In spring of 2022, the new Hollands Kroon datacenter facility piloted a multi-year biomimicry restoration project around the newly constructed building to support biodiversity, improve stormwater control, and prevent erosion.

Community investments

Since 2018, Microsoft has supported 98 community projects across Hollands Kroon and West-Friesland, providing more than USD $3.8 million dollars in funding. Most recently, we are proud to collaborate with Stichting Hollands Kroonse Uitdaging, Campus de Terp, Vrijwilligerspunt West-Friesland, and more. We are committed to providing digital skill-building opportunities for job seekers as well as learning from and investing in areas that matter most to residents.

  • Datacenter job training – We have partnered with ROC Horizon College Hoorn and Vonk Schagen to host our Microsoft Datacenter Academy (DCA) and help local residents pursue the in-demand technology skills needed to work at our datacenters or in other technology roles. Since the DCA opened in 2019 , 188 students have enrolled in the ROC Horizon College Hoorn Datacenter Academy and we have hired 22 DCA graduate interns at our Middenmeer datacenter facility.
  • Reskilling job seekers – We also partnered with ITPH Academy and Horizon College to address labor shortages in North Holland through a reskilling initiative that provides under resourced job seekers with free professional development training, resources, and job placement support to help address the high employee shortages in IT.
  • Supporting the next generation with STEM programs – To ensure young people have access to the skills, technology, and opportunity to thrive in the digital economy, our datacenter employees volunteer with organizations like PET (Promotion Events Technique) to run Cloudcraft workshops to help school aged children build digital skills. We also have collaborations with The Techno Challenge Foundation and the Electric Racing Academy Cup Challenge.

Economic impact

Since construction began on our first datacenter in 2013, the project has created over 680 construction jobs each year. And the people in those jobs have worked more than 12.3 million hours – thank you.

Our datacenter in Middenmeer currently employs 450 people. Collectively, the Microsoft datacenters are estimated to generate billions of Euros in capital investment which benefit the communities around the datacenters.

As we look back on the past ten years, Microsoft is grateful for the many successful relationships we have built with the community, nonprofits, and local municipalities. We are committed to continuing to invest in the North Holland communities, and we look forward to many more years of collaboration.