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AMD to Cut One Fifth of Water by 2014

Semiconductor company AMD aims to reduce water use 20 percent and Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions five percent by 2014, based on a 2009 baseline year.

The targets are part of a set of environmental goals that AMD is introducing this week. All are based on a baseline year of 2009 and extend five years to 2014.

AMD has been reformulating its environmental goals since it began outsourcing most of its manufacturing in 2009. The transfer reduced AMD’s direct carbon footprint by about 72 percent. (Data on the company’s environmental performance from 2005 to 2009 can be found here.)

To set the stage for new environmental goals, the company then reset its environmental baseline to the year 2009 (baseline figures pictured left). This move caused some challenges, global sustainability manager Justin Murrill wrote in a blog post.

“Due to the recession, it turns out that 2009 was a down year in terms of overall activity and thus is a tough baseline year because environmental emissions were lower,” Murrill said.

He used the blog post to reveal AMD’s new goals for more than 35 sites:

  • Cut Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 5 percent, applied as an absolute emissions reduction to non-manufacturing sites, and normalized to production volumes for AMD’s remaining manufacturing sites. The first steps towards the goal will be through energy conservation and efficiency improvements, AMD said, and it will also consider onsite solar panels, buying green energy and buying renewable energy credits (RECs).
  • Cut water use by 20 percent, normalized on a per employee basis for non-manufacturing sites, and per production unit basis for manufacturing sites. Possible methods include low-flow fixtures, rainwater harvesting and use of native plants.
  • Divert 70 percent of trash from landfills. The company is working to improve waste tracking and employee awareness about recycling, and examining the materials it buys for upstream opportunities such as buying more recyclables and minimizing packaging.

Murrill said more long-term efforts will include evaluating its Scope 3 GHG emissions including from its supply chain, product energy use and employee travel. The company is already beginning to manage these emissions through working with foundry partners and instituting a program to reduce employee commutes, he said.

AMD is also working with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to develop a carbon footprint measurement tool for PC products.

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