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Intel commits to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040

By Shannon Williams
Thu 14 Apr 2022

Intel has announced plans to further reduce its direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions and develop more sustainable technology solutions, by pledging to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in its global operations by 2040.

It has also committed to increase the energy efficiency and lower the carbon footprint of Intel products and platforms with specific goals, and to work with customers and industry partners to create solutions that lower the greenhouse gas footprint of the entire technology ecosystem. 

"The impact of climate change is an urgent global threat. Protecting our planet demands immediate action and fresh thinking about how the world operates," says Pat Gelsinger, Intel chief executive officer . 

"As one of the world's leading semiconductor design and manufacturing companies, Intel is in a unique position to make a difference not only in our own operations, but in a way that makes it easier for customers, partners and our whole value chain to take meaningful action too."

Intel is committing to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across its operations, otherwise known as its Scope 1 and 2 emissions, by 2040. Intel's priority is to actively reduce its emissions, in line with international standards and climate science. It will use credible carbon offsets to achieve its goal only if other options are exhausted.  

To realise this ambitious goal, Intel has set the following interim milestones for 2030:  

  • Achieve 100% renewable electricity use across its global operations.  
  • Invest approximately $300 million in energy conservation at its facilities to achieve 4 billion cumulative kilowatt hours of energy savings.  
  • Build new factories and facilities to meet U.S. Green Building Council LEED program standards, including recently announced investments in the U.S., Europe and Asia. 
  • Launch a cross-industry R&D initiative to identify greener chemicals with lower global warming potential and to develop new abatement equipment. 

These targets strengthen Intel's commitment to sustainable business practices, like its RISE strategy. Intel's cumulative greenhouse gas emissions over the past decade are nearly 75% lower than they would have been in the absence of investments and action. 

"Intel has been a leader in sustainability results for decades. We are now raising the bar and entering an exciting era to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across our operations by 2040," sats Keyvan Esfarjani, executive vice president and chief global operations officer at Intel.

"This will require significant innovation and investment, but we are committed to do what it takes and will work with the industry to achieve this critical mission."

Intel is also committed to addressing climate impacts throughout its upstream and downstream value chain, also known as Scope 3 emissions. Intel's Scope 3 strategy focuses on partnering with suppliers and customers to take aggressive action to reduce overall emissions.  

The company says it is actively engaged with its suppliers to identify areas of improvement, including increasing supplier focus on energy conservation and renewable energy sourcing, increasing chemical and resource efficiencies, and leading cross-industry consortia to support the transition to a net-zero greenhouse gas semiconductor manufacturing value chain. 

To accelerate progress, Intel is committed to partnering with suppliers to drive supply chain greenhouse gas emissions to at least 30% lower by 2030 than they would be in the absence of investment and action.   

To support customer sustainability goals and reduce Scope 3 product-use greenhouse gas emissions, Intel will increase the energy efficiency of its products and continue to drive performance improvements the market demands. Intel is setting a new goal to achieve a five times increase in energy efficiency for discrete graphics processing units by 2025. The company remains committed to its 2030 goal to increase product energy efficiency by 10 times for client and server microprocessors. 

To help customers achieve platform carbon reductions, Intel is extending innovation in:  

The layout, selection and modularity of all internal components to reduce the size of main boards.  
Continued increases in system energy efficiency and display efficiency to significantly reduce overall power consumption.   
The use of bio-based printed circuit boards to aid in the separation of materials and components when recycling, and to reduce overall electronic waste.  

Intel has also set a new goal to lower emissions related to reference platform designs for client form factors by 30% or more by 2030. These efforts are taking shape with Dell's Concept Luna prototype device, developed in partnership with Intel to showcase future possibilities for sustainable PC design.  

"Collaboration is key if we want to find solutions to the significant environmental issues the world is grappling with. Intel has been an important partner in this regard, helping us drive joint innovation supporting motherboard optimisation, development of the bio-based printed circuit board and increasing system power efficiency in our Concept Luna device," says Glen Robson, chief technology officer for the Client Solutions Group, Dell Technologies. 

"The ambition behind this ongoing work is to test, prove and evaluate opportunities to roll out innovative, sustainable design ideas at scale across our portfolio its the only way we will sufficiently accelerate the circular economy and protect our planet for the generations to come."

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