I live in Arizona. I’ve been here for more than 14 years – and I love it here. Home, on the other hand, will always be Michigan. Detroit, to be more specific. Everybody in Detroit seemed to work in one way or another for the automotive industry. I had relatives at Ford, at auto suppliers, even steel plants. I actually started down this Eco/CSR path at Ford myself. No matter how bleak the industry got with foreign competition and rust-belt headlines day after day, people were proud to live there and work in that industry.So what does that have to do with Arizona and the title of this blog? Well, now I work in an industry that has its own set of global challenges, but I work with people who are proud to work at this company and in this state for many of the same reasons. And many of my neighbors also work in high-tech. I don’t know if they have the same passion for the latest chipset as my Detroit friends do for the latest Shelby Cobra – but that’s a subject for another blog. Three billion dollars. That’s not just a lot of money. That’s more money than I can even comprehend. That’s the investment Intel made in opening its newest state-of-the-art factory in Chandler, Arizona today. It will be known as Fab (for fabrication facility) 32. So, why write about this in a CSR blog? Well, I’m glad you asked. Not only is this Intel’s newest factory. It will also be among Intel’s most environmentally friendly factories on the planet. We have designed in a number of energy and water conservation measures that will have a long term positive impact – not only in Arizona, but in other similar factories around the world. From an operational perspective, our latest 45nm manufacturing process results in a 15% reduction in global warming emissions, and Fab 32 makes use of our innovative water conservation and reuse program which conserves more than 70% of the water used on site. And from a product angle, the factory will be producing the company’s most energy efficient processors to date, processors that are both lead-free and halogen-free. But the building itself represents more than that. We will also be seeking official Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design LEED green building certification for the factory based on new criteria being developed for facilities of this kind. That’s all great news and makes many of us at Intel proud. However, I want to tie that back to Detroit and the subject of globalization. The world is different today than it was even 10 to 20 years ago. U.S. based companies are doing business all over the world. There seems to be a general perception that companies will always search for the lowest common denominator in terms of cost. The real story is much more complex than that. Intel wants and needs to go where the best business environment is. That means employees, infrastructure, security, logistics and a host of other features….including cost. I see a lot of press these days that seems to paint a picture of high-tech moving overseas. Of course we continue to expand to meet our customers’ needs – all over the world. However, I live here – my children live here – and I want to see the U.S. fight to be the most competitive nation on the planet. I know as Intel, we’ve invested millions of dollars and thousands of volunteer hours to make our schools and educational systems better everyday. We all still have a lot of work to do to keep the U.S. competitive in the globalization picture. But next time you read an article about high-tech moving off-shore – ask yourself – how many companies do you know that have invested $3 billion dollars in a single factory and more than $8 billion over the last couple years to develop state-of-the-art manufacturing capability and high-tech jobs in the U.S.? I hope you’ll recall at least one.
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