Bite-sized CSR: Employees step up to “green” more Intel events

This is the first post in our “Bite-sized CSR” blog series surrounding our 2010 Corporate Responsibility Report, where we’ll pull out little snippets and case studies from across the 100+ pages of our new report.

One of the goals in the Corporate Responsibility Office here at Intel is to increase employee awareness about the business value of CSR and encourage people to initiate and further incorporate CSR and sustainability values into their own groups’ planning and strategies. One great example of this is a team of employees who have taken action to rethink the way we plan events at Intel, including the Intel Development Forum (IDF), which won an IMEX Green Meetings Silveraward, and our Intel Manufacturing Excellence conference (IMEC).

Each year Intel sponsors or holds more than 1,000 events–from small department meetings to large-scale customer events. Over the past few years, a team comprised of employees from our corporate events marketing group and our corporate strategic purchasing group launched a concerted effort to improve the design and planning of these events to reduce their environmental impact. For example, for the 2009 Intel Developer Forum (IDF), we selected hotels that would reduce the need for ground transportation, designed more efficient lighting, procured food through local sources, and used more recycled materials. We employed similar strategies and practices at four major Intel-sponsored events in 2010. At just one of these events, IDF in Beijing, China, we estimate that our new sustainability initiatives enabled us to avoid the equivalent of 6,900 tons of CO2 emissions.

Based on the learings from the IDF and IMEC events, the team also developed a Green Events Handbook that covers best practices to improve environmental aspects in event planning. The handbook will be piloted with 15 of our largest U.S. events, and has the potential to eventually impact the planning of some 1,200 Intel events each year.

My colleagues who were responsible for driving the initiative, Lou Cozzo (Corporate Event Marketing) & Regan Rhodes (Global Strategic Sourcing Manager), commented:

“Since 2007, IDF has saved 8.25 tons of paper or 141 trees. In 2010, IDF and IMEC alone reduced our carbon footprint by 9,000 metric tons. In 2008, these efforts at IDF saved $200,000 in costs by eliminating bottled water and food waste. These are triple bottom line benefits being realized today – and that’s just the results of a handful of events. Just imagine the positive impacts that could be realized if we applied these principles to the 1000+ events that Intel supports globally, on an annual basis.”

At the end of the day, to realize the full value that CSR and sustainability can bring to our business, we need to tap into the expertise of our employees in many different groups and I continue to be impressed with the opportunities that are being uncovered by my colleagues. For other sustainable purchasing projects, please see page 90 of our 2010 Corporate Responsibility Report.

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