Planning for the Environment in Business

‘Tis the Season

It’s that time of year around Intel – plan time. It’s time to set budgets and priorities for the upcoming year. Although I’d like to say that it brings back fond memories of childhood and Christmas wish lists, the reality is something more akin to finding out mom and dad are Santa Claus and that top of the line bicycle or motorized toy airplane is not quite within budget.

So, where do we start? In 2007, we established a new set of environmental goals. The goals set targets through 2010 in a few areas we believe are critical including:

  • Reducing our carbon footprint

  • Reducing our water usage

  • Increasing our waste recycling rates

  • Engaging our employee base

  • Improving the environmental footprint of our products

As we begin our Plan 2008, these still feel like the right focus areas with maybe a few adjustments. For example, recycling is great, but reducing the waste in the first place is even better. Or maybe we should shoot for a more ambitious “zero waste” type goal? Some more work to do there… Likewise, the response by our employees to our “200 environmental projects” goal has been incredible. Over 100 projects have already been completed! How do we further tap into the energy of our 90,000+ employees to improve our environmental performance? Just one of the many questions I will pose to my team.

These few environmental focus areas are certainly not exhaustive, but hopefully help point us in the right direction. However, would like your thoughts from the outside looking in. What’s on your environmental wish list for 2008? Be sure to mail all responses to the North Pole :)

3 Responses to Planning for the Environment in Business

  1. Lord Volton says:

    As you consider budget and priorities you might want to ponder this, “The chairman of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee is summoning Yahoo Chief Executive Jerry Yang to Washington to talk about “how the Internet company gave false information to Congress about its role in a human rights case in China that sent a journalist to jail for a decade,” according to a release from the committee chairman’s office.” -C/NET news blogs
    Why does it take Congressional hearings for U.S. technology companies to understand that human rights overseas matter. And that setting up shop in a foreign country doesn’t mean you can simply ignore an individuals God given right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
    So far I’ve only gotten blank stares from Intel’s CSR department as it trumpets its involvement in China. What are you guys doing about the blatant lack of respect for human rights in China and the FACT that they imprison people for criticizing the government?
    And, “I have no idea?” is not an acceptable answer.

  2. Dave says:

    Ok LV – apologies for not taking you up on the subject the first time you brought it up. As I’m sure you know far better than I, this isn’t the first time a portal company has been before the U.S. Congress on issues related to human rights in China.
    Nor have we had our head in the sand on the issue over the years. Frankly, we couldn’t have, since we’ve had a research presence there for many years and have been performing assembly and test operations for close to 10 years.
    The story is of course different for those companies that operate internet portals in China and potentially have access to personally identifiable information.
    The NYT did several articles on the challenge companies like Yahoo, Google, Cisco and Microsoft face when trying to do business in China. All of these companies testified before congress in 2006. Are these companies bad or evil or even unjust? I don’t think so. These are well respected companies and work hard to support that reputation world-wide.
    I think they’re struggling with challenges globalization brings when a significant portion of their revenues are derived in China.
    Through that lens, Intel too does significant business in China. Our CSR Report discloses the locations and the types of work we do there. Several years ago, when people started to consider these questions, we actually met with the US State Department, at their request, to discuss what CSR means in China.
    We do our best to lead by example. Intel’s code of conduct applies everywhere including China. We support the Electronics Industry Code of Conduct and ask our Chinese suppliers to follow it as well. Intel’s privacy principles lay out a framework for the company to follow on issues of privacy. We have had internal conversations along the lines of your post long before now – so it doesn’t take an act of congress for some companies to pay attention.
    We work hard to be a leading corporate citizen regardless of where we operate. Our employees in China are more than capable and participate fully in our discussions around CSR. We are not a perfect company – I don’t think there is one. We are a collection of people trying to do the right thing for our employees, customers and communities. Perhaps I’m ignorant to all the subtleties that come with business in China, but I do believe we have had a positive affect on business practices by being there.
    You may be interested – or perhaps not :) – but we recently signed a Business Ethics MOU with the Sai Gon High-Tech Park as a way to promote and reinforce the expectation of a transparent business climate in Vietnam. This isn’t a direct parallel, but another example of trying to influence in a positive way by our presence and actions.

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