The Resourcefulness of Waste

Albert Einstein said that we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Today, that philosophy is particularly relevant to the state of the environment. The organizers of a recent management forum organized by Ma’alah(Israel BSR affiliation) were apparently thinking along Einstein’s line when they chose as their focus the importance of change in the corporate mindset. The forum’s keynote speaker addressed the need to change the way we think about industrial waste: instead of starting from the approach that waste is a nuisance to be disposed of, we need to see it as a resource from which we might benefit.

Seeing things this way demands some serious out-of-the box thinking.

We, at Intel, have been doing a lot more than just thinking about industrial waste and we’re proud of our modern take on this major, old “problem”. The forum’s attendees were introduced to Intel Israel’s new and exciting waste disposal initiative, a Membrane Bio Reactor (MBR) waste treatment facility, which was launched in mid-November at the Kiryat Gat Fab 28 facility. The MBR will recycle the waste water from two plants, Intel’s Fab and the neighboring facility of flash memory semi-conductor Numonyx, which is part-owned by Intel.

The largest and most advanced in Israel, the new MBR facility will render the water used in the factories’ production processes suitable for agricultural use. In a country like Israel where water is so scarce, this is a significant accomplishment. Green Prophet, an environmental news site dedicated to living green in the Middle East, calls on other companies to follow Intel’s lead.

Going one step beyond Einstein’s comments, Intel and other companies are seeking to avoid creating environmental problems in the first place. Corporate representatives to the Ma’aleh conference, among them Intel’s, said that they investigate the effect on the environment in the planning stages of a product. When a company adopts that kind of mindset, it is obviously concerned not only with how to be less “bad” for the environment, but also how to enhance it.

2 thoughts on “The Resourcefulness of Waste

  1. I think industrial waste is different from consumers waste. Both add up to waste. I agree with this article. Corporation has to take responsibility for what they did and try to repair it. They also have to take responsibility to prevent it in the futur.
    I think it countries like Israel where water resources are so scareful it is important to manage your consumption in order to avoid drying the land of the communities living here.
    They have been many issues regarding water in developing countries with hot climate. Intel has learned the lesson as well and know what are the risk now.

  2. It’s great to see Intel making such strides in reducing the amount of wastewater in its plant through operations like the MBR facility in Israel. Are there plans to implement similar operations at other Intel operations globally?

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