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Intel Sustainability Report: GHGs Per Chip Up 48%

Intel’s per-chip GHG emissions rose 48 percent from 2011 to 2012, according to its latest corporate responsibility report.

The measure, which Intel terms its Normalized Production Index, is indexed to a year 2000 baseline. The company assumes a typical chip size of 1 sq m. The CO2 NPI rose from 22 in 2011 to 32 in 2012.

Intel says the increase was largely due to decreased production at the end of the year. It also says that the NPI does not take into account the number of additional manufacturing steps used in newer process technologies.

Since 2008 relative emissions are down 26 percent, from an NPI of 43. The company says it is still on track for its goal of cutting GHGs by 10 percent, on a per-chip basis, by 2020 from 2010 levels.

Report overview

Intel has declared the report at GRI Application Level A+. The report is available as a PDF download, and as sections combinable through a report builder site. That site also offers further environmental data.

Last year saw large rises in many of the company’s per-chip metrics, including GHGs, water and especially waste, and a smaller rise in its relative energy metric.

In 2013, the company says it will place a strong emphasis on reducing water use and chemical waste, and driving higher levels of energy-efficient performance in its products.

GHGs and renewable energy

Intel’s absolute Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions were up 32 percent in 2012 compared to 2011. Scope 1 emissions were 794,000 metric tons CO2e. These include electricity, natural gas, liquified petroleum gas, diesel fuel, perfluorocompounds (PFCs) used in manufacturing, nitrous oxide, heat-transfer fluids and refrigerants, volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions that are oxidized to CO2 in Intel abatement systems, on-site vehicles such as security, and Intel’s air shuttle.

Scope 2 emissions were 1,054,000 metric tons CO2e, including renewable energy credits. Before RECs were taken into account, scope 2 emissions were 2,330,000 metric tons CO2e.

The EPA has recognized Intel as the country’s largest voluntary purchaser of green power for the past five years, and this year the company is increasing its green power purchases to almost 3.1 billion kWh – equal to 100 percent of its projected electricity use, from 85 percent in 2012.

Since 2009, Intel has partnered with third parties to complete 18 solar installations on nine campuses in the US, Israel and Vietnam, generating more than 10 million kWh of energy per year. It says that this year, it is exploring a broad expansion of its solar hot water program, and will pilot wind micro-turbines and ground-source heat pumps at its site in Guadalajara, Mexico.

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