Intel promises to have net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040

Intel reinforced its green promise today by announcing further reductions in its direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. Until then, the chipmaker says it will be completely free of greenhouse gases from its global operation. It also set a goal of achieving a fivefold increase in performance per watt for its next “CPU-GPU”, Falcon Shores.

Pat Gelsinger, CEO of Intel, takes the lead in announcement, noting that climate change is an “urgent global threat”. Couldn’t agree more with you, Pat. He also notes that Intel, as “one of the world’s leading semiconductor design and manufacturing companies”, is in a “unique position” to make a difference across the entire semiconductor industry.

This is encouraging to hear, but actions speak louder than words. So what this really means for Intel is that it aims to reduce its Scope 1 (direct) and Scope 2 (purchased energy, heating, cooling) greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2040. be achieved by 2030, when Intel has committed to taking even more comprehensive green actions as part of its RISE goals.

These new milestones for 2030 are:

  • 100% renewable energy across all global operations
  • Build new factories and facilities to new US Green Building Council LEED program standards (including investments in Europe and Asia such as the company’s new German factory)
  • Launch a cross-sector R&D initiative to identify greener chemicals that are less harmful to the environment and develop new abatement equipment used to remove pollutants more effectively

What’s not included here are Scope 3 emissions, which include all other manufacturing and logistics steps, often carried out by other companies, that go into Intel’s final product delivery. On that front, Intel said it plans to partner with suppliers and customers to take “aggressive action to reduce overall emissions.” The only firm promise made in this department is to reduce supply chain greenhouse gas emissions to at least 30% by 2030 of what they would have been in the absence of investment and action.

It sounds a little confusing, or at least difficult to quantify, but I hope this manifests itself in some genuine and serious change at the very least.

(Image credit: Intel)

Although at least there is a very firm goal of increasing performance per watt by five times for Intel’s upcoming Falcon Shores product. This is essentially a hybrid chip with CPU and GPU contained within a Xeon server footprint, so it won’t be something you should expect to see in a gaming PC anytime soon. At the very least, we can see some improvements of a similar nature on the CPU side of client games, as Intel has said it aims to improve product energy efficiency by 10x for client and server products by 2030.

This couldn’t happen sooner as gaming CPUs and GPUs are getting very power hungry with no real signs of slowing down yet.

For comparison, AMD also defined Own 2025/2030 environmental goals. These are to reduce Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions from your operations by 50% from 2020 to 2030 and increase energy efficiency at your processors and accelerators by 30 times from 2020 to 2025. As for your supply chain , or Scope 3 emissions, AMD says it wants all of its manufacturing suppliers to have public emission reduction targets by 2025, and 80% from renewable energy sources by then.

Ultimately, it is our job as consumers to hold these large corporations accountable for their waste, emissions, and whether they achieve those targets. As much as it is our job to help do our part to reduce and recycle e-waste and our own impact on the environment as well.

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