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AMD Beats Climate Goal, But Water Use Rises

AMD is on track or ahead of targets for greenhouse gas reduction, non-hazardous waste and non-manufacturing water use, but off-track of its manufacturing water target, according to the firm’s corporate responsibility report for 2010.

From 2009 to 2010 the superconductor company cut GHGs tied to manufacturing, normalized by a production index, by 15.8 percent. This beat a target for a five percent reduction between 2009 and 2014. The reduction was due in part to a 20 percent absolute reduction in electricity use, AMD said, resulting from equipment improvements, changing production volumes and building consolidation.

Last year AMD also cut GHGs at its non-manufacturing sites, in absolute terms, by 5.9 percent – beating another five percent, 2009-2014 target. The company said it managed this reduction despite a one percent increase in absolute electricity use, through cutting emissions from fuel use at several sites, and increasing the proportion of its electricity from clean sources.

AMD said that its growth projections will challenge both targets. “Although the 2010 data show us ahead of our goal, our plans for future expansion of manufacturing sites and capacity present significant challenges for achieving this goal by the 2014 target date,” the report said.

Overall, AMD’s absolute GHG emissions fell by 20 percent from 2009 to 2010, mostly as a result of cutting electricity use at manufacturing sites.

AMD also said it is on track to divert 70 percent of its non-hazardous waste from landfills by 2014, having diverted 50.7 percent in 2010, up from 40 percent in 2009. The gains stemmed from several ongoing projects as well as one-time efforts such as reclamations from building consolidations in Sunnyvale, Calif, and an initiative to wipe and resell hard drives from an IT data center upgrade.

AMD says it is improving methods of solid waste collection and tracking and examining the materials it buys for possible upstream reduction opportunities such as increasing recyclable content, reducing volume and minimizing packaging material.

In 2010, the company’s hazardous waste generation increased slightly, from 48 to 49 metric tons.

AMD cut its consumption of non-manufacturing water, normalized by employee count, by 4.6 percent from 2009 to 2010, putting the company on track for a 20 percent reduction by 2014. But use of manufacturing water, normalized by production index, increased by 26.6 percent. This took AMD off-track of its 20 percent by 2014 reduction goal.

The company said the increase was due to a manufacturing process change which required significantly more water for cleaning. AMD said it will evaluate options to meet product quality standards with reduced water use and increased water recycling.

The report was self-declared at level “A” on the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) scale.

AMD unveiled its water use, waste diversion and GHG goals this February. The company 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.

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