AMD Sets New Environmental Goals Following Reorganization

Semiconductor company AMD (NYSE: AMD) announced new environmental goals that reflect the company’s move from manufacturing to design. 

Justin Murrill, AMD’s Global Sustainability Manager, explains in a blog post how the 40-year-old company had to reassess its environmental priorities after transitioning away from manufacturing in 2009.

When AMD transferred the manufacturing side of its business to a supplier, it immediately cut its direct carbon footprint by 72%. As a result the company reset its carbon baseline to 2009 to benchmark its performance under the new operating structure.

As it turns out, 2009 set an unusually low baseline, due to the economic downturn. Nonetheless the company has just issued five-year goals for more than 35 AMD-operated sites around the globe. They include:

Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Reduction – AMD’s goal for GHG emissions is to meet or exceed a 5% reduction based on 2009 levels. This includes "Scope 1" direct emissions (namely from onsite fuel and material use) and "Scope 2" indirect emissions (namely from purchased electricity). The reduction target for our non-manufacturing sites is an "absolute" emission reduction regardless of growth. The 5% GHG reduction goal for manufacturing sites is normalized to production volumes–meaning the company aims to reduce the emissions of GHGs per unit of production.

In addition, AMD said it will continue to evaluate "Scope 3" GHG emissions associated with its supply chain, product energy use, employee travel and other activities.

Water Use Reduction Goal – AMD’s goal for water use is a 20% reduction based on 2009 levels. Water reduction for non-manufacturing sites will be normalized on a "per employee" basis, and manufacturing sites on a "per production unit" basis. The company is considering several water recycling and conservation projects to achieve this goal, such as installing low-flow fixtures, collecting rainwater for irrigation, and adding more native plants that require less water.

Solid Waste Reduction Goal – AMD’s goal for solid waste "trash" is to divert 70% of it from landfills. "We are working to improve our methods of solid waste collection and tracking, as well as raising employee awareness about recycling and other reduction strategies, Murrill said. AMD also is examining "upstream" opportunities, such as increasing recycled content and minimizing packaging, he said.

Lastly, Murrill said the company continues to focus on improving the energy efficiency of its products and is working within the industry to help develop a carbon footprint measurement tool for PC products.

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