Intel Sustainability Report: Tech Giant Commits to 10% GHG Cut
Intel has pledged to reduce its direct greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent on a per-chip basis by 2020 compared to 2010 levels, and announced a 34 percent reduction in its total CO2 emissions last year. The company has also committed to a host of other goals covering its building practices, the efficiency of its computers, energy use, water use and waste, in its 2011 corporate responsibility report.
In 2010 the company recorded an emission score of 34 on its internal normalized production index, where a score of 100 indicates levels identical to those in 2000. In 2011 this figure dropped to 21. These figures mean that the company’s emissions on a per-chip basis fell 39 percent year-on-year, the report states.
In 2011, Intel’s Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions totaled 3.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. Some 1 million of those metric tons of CO2e came from Scope 1 emissions. Around 1.4 million tons of the company’s emissions were offset with the purchase of renewable energy credits, the report says.
In 2011, Intel used 5.3 billion kWh of electricity, up by two percent from 5.2 billion kWh in 2010. However, when normalized against chip production, the company’s energy use flatlined year-on-year, and Intel’s energy use declined 19 percent from 2010 to 2011 when normalized against revenue, the report says. In 2011, the company used 1.66 kWh per dollar of revenue, down from 2.06 kWh per dollar in 2010.
The company has pledged to achieve additional energy savings of 1.4 billion kWh from 2012 to 2015, and publish additional energy conservation targets for 2016-2020 in its 2012 report. Intel also committed to increasing the energy efficiency of its notebook computers and data center products by 25 times by 2020, from 2010 levels.
In 2011, the company invested $13 million in resource conservation and efficiency projects aimed at reducing its energy use. Projects included more efficient lighting and system controls; boiler and chilled-water system improvements; and more efficient HVAC and heat recovery improvements in its labs. Intel says it has invested $58 million in such projects since 2001. In 2011, these projects reduced energy costs by $10.9 million, the company says.
For the past four years, Intel has been recognized as the country’s largest voluntary purchaser of green power, under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership program. Since 2009, Intel has collaborated with third parties to complete 15 solar electric installations across nine Intel campuses in Arizona, California, New Mexico, Oregon, Israel and Vietnam – collectively generating more than 5 million kWh per year of solar energy.
The company has committed to reducing its water use on a per-chip basis, below 2010 levels by 2020. In 2010, Intel withdrew 8.2 billion gallons. In 2011, this figure grew to 8.3 billion gallons, representing a 2 percent increase year-on-year in absolute water use. When normalized against chip production and revenue, the company’s usage fell by 6 percent and 18 percent year-on-year respectively.
Since 1998, Intel says it has invested more than $100 million in water conservation programs, saving over 40 billion gallons of water. The company estimates that it takes 16 gallons of water to produce one chip. As such, efforts have been made to recycle as much process water as possible. In 2011, the company recycled roughly 2.4 billion gallons of water, equivalent to about 30 percent of its total water withdrawals for the year.
Intel has announced a target of sending zero chemical waste to landfill by 2020. In 2010, the company generated 31,300 tons of chemical waste, of which 23,500 tons were recycled. In 2011, Intel produced 35,300 tons of chemical waste, or 13 percent more than 2010. Some 28,800 tons of the 2011 total was recycled.
The company generated 43 percent more solid waste year-on-year, but recycled 55 percent more waste over the same time period. Its recycling rate rose from 83 percent in 2010 to 87 percent in 2011. The amount of solid waste Intel produced rose from a normalized production index score of 74 in 2010 to an NPI score of 106 in 2011 (see chart, below).
The final goal that Intel announced in its report is to design all new buildings to a minimum LEED silver certification between 2010 and 2020. By the end of 2011, Intel had achieved LEED silver Certification 18 buildings across five sites in Arizona, Costa Rica, China, Israel and Malaysia.
The company used the Global Reporting Index to compile its report. It self-assessed the report at an “A” level.
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