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Intel Aims to Achieve Net Zero Carbon Emissions By 2040

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(Photo: Wouter De Praetere/Unsplash)Intel has announced a plan to achieve net-zero carbon emissions across its global operations by 2040. 

In a statement Wednesday, the company reaffirmed its intent to reduce its environmental impact and develop a more sustainable operations strategy. This means changes across all parts of the business, including its supply chain, products, and everyday consumption. 

“We’re now raising the bar and entering an exciting era to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across our operations by 2040,” said Intel’s executive vice president and chief global operations officer Keyvan Esfarjani. “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’s plan focuses on making the switch to 100 percent renewable energy sources in all of its facilities worldwide. This will involve sinking $300 million into energy conservation efforts, which the company hopes will result in a cumulative four billion kilowatts of excess energy. Any new facilities Intel builds will be US Green Building Council LEED program-certified—yes, even the Ohio and Germany megafabs—with a specific R&D team aimed at seeking out chemicals and abatement equipment with less of an environmental impact. The company will also only seek out carbon offset strategies as a last resort if its other efforts aren’t sufficient (which seems to be a wise decision, given the complicated nature of so-called carbon offset credits). 

An Intel solar array in Vietnam. (Photo: Intel Free Press/Wikimedia Commons)

Intel’s previously-stated goal of dramatically increasing its products’ efficiency remains intact. The company aims to make its client and server microprocessors ten times as efficient as they already are by 2030. Intel says it’s building off its Evo Platform (which, among other things, focused on improving energy efficiency) as it continues to seek out product iterations that will “help customers achieve platform carbon reductions.” 

For those concerned about the state of the earth and its foreseeable future, a zero-emissions goal set for 2040 may feel too far away. But Intel is a massive, multinational entity, meaning any change by nature will be both gradual and effective. This isn’t the first time the company has set its sights on a healthier climate, either; Intel says the climate-focused work it’s already done over the last decade has reduced the company’s carbon footprint by more than 75 percent of what it would otherwise be. 

“The impact of climate change is an urgent global threat,” CEO Pat Gelsinger said in Intel’s statement. “Protecting our planet demands immediate action and fresh thinking about how the world operates. 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.”

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