Intel explains the importance of sustainability in semiconductor manufacturing

Frans Scheper, president and CEO of Intel’s EMEA region, spoke about the need for sustainability in semiconductor manufacturing and stressed that Intel is making real, effective change;

The urgency of more decisive action to tackle climate change is indisputable. As one of the world’s leading semiconductor design and manufacturing companies, our goal is to produce technologies that improve the lives of all people on earth and change the world. At Intel, we have made great strides in being a more sustainable business, but we also know that we can, must, and do more to reduce our impact on the natural world.

Innovative technology helps us meet the challenges we all face on the road to a greener world, be it electric cars, solar panels or wind turbines. Creating greener energy and greener ways to use it will help us all make changes. But these new technological advances have one thing in common: they use semiconductor chips. In other words, as the demand for semiconductor chips increases, we need to ensure that their production is as environmentally friendly as the technology in which they are used.

Frans Scheper
Frans Scheper

Over the next decade, Intel will invest up to € 80 billion in cutting-edge semiconductor research, design, manufacturing and industrial relations as part of our historic EU initiative. So while we’re looking to reshape the industry by diversifying the supply chain to make sure it’s resilient enough to meet growing demand, we also have the opportunity to reevaluate our way of doing business, create and scale technology solutions, and do it. greener. .

There are three ways to make a real and impactful change:

1. Give more than we take

In addition to being a precious resource, water is also the center of the semiconductor manufacturing process. So when we and many other industry organizations are considering how we can make the process more sustainable, we focus on water. Intel’s sustainable water management efforts have helped us save billions of gallons of water over the past two decades and return approximately 80% of our water use to our communities. As part of Intel’s broader RISE strategy and goals, we are working to achieve positive net water use by 2030 by saving 60 billion gallons of water and funding more returnable water projects. fresh water in the local basins from which we consume.

In 2021, we saved 9.3 billion gallons of water in our operations and allowed 2.3 billion gallons of water to be recovered through watershed restoration projects. While these achievements have brought us closer to our goal of clean positive water, they have also ensured that 99% (by volume) of global freshwater is treated, returned to communities or the environment, and recovered through river basin projects. So far we have achieved a positive net water consumption in three countries: USA, India and Costa Rica.

2. Promote a more ecological production

In April, we announced our plans to further reduce our direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions and develop more sustainable technology solutions. Increasing energy efficiency and savings is vital to ensuring a greener production value chain and reducing our environmental footprint. But a typical semiconductor manufacturing facility or factory can use the energy used by about 50,000 homes a year, so it’s no wonder that energy efficiency and conservation are another area of ​​focus. key to the industry. Reducing operating energy is already at the core of Intel’s global climate strategy. By achieving our goal of 100% renewable electricity in our operations by 2030, we can take important steps to reduce the impact of energy use on chip production.

In 2021, we maintained our 100% renewable electricity supply in the US, Europe, Israel and Malaysia and reached 80% renewable electricity worldwide. Over the past five years, we have purchased 30 billion kWh of renewable electricity, enough to power more than 2.8 million U.S. homes in one year. We plan to continue investing in new and innovative projects that will save 100 million kWh of electricity in 2022.

3. Take big steps forward together as we reduce our footprint

At Intel, we are committed to partnering with our suppliers and customers to take action to reduce global emissions. We are aware that this cooperation will be of vital importance. With so many different countries, companies, suppliers and people, action needs to be taken at all stages of the entire supply chain to significantly reduce emissions. Change cannot happen alone, but by working together we can accelerate progress. We are entering an exciting period in which we will strive to achieve zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 in all of our operations. Our commitment to major innovations and investments to drive greenhouse gas reduction, including chemical substitution, reduction, energy saving, and process optimization, has never been stronger. All of these steps can go a long way in reducing accumulated emissions from Range 1 and 2 and thus helping to reduce our footprint.

The road to a greener industry

At Intel, we believe we need to keep moving forward, looking for new answers and innovating to meet the challenges. Technology is the hub for driving the semiconductor industry toward more sustainable manufacturing. We can achieve this sustainability through “intelligence efficiency”, which benefits from investing in smart technologies. Examples of smart technologies are building energy management systems, IoT (Internet of Things) sensors that can reduce the energy consumption of industrial processes, and power grid controllers that allow even greater use of renewable energies.

As the demand and production of semiconductors continue to increase, so will our investment in innovative technology. We must meet this growing demand without compromising our efforts to combat the effects of climate change.

Our customers, families and communities around the world deserve it.

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