Blog action day – the new opportunity for Intel in addressing climate change

Addressing climate change is not something new for us. But how we are now looking at the issue is.

As a company, Intel has taken steps to measure and reduce the carbon footprint of our operations for many years now. We’ve been publicly reporting our greenhouse gas emissions, both in our annual CSR report and through the Carbon Disclosure Project, which recently recognized us in their 2009 Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index. We’ve invested millions of dollars in energy efficiency and resource conservation projects throughout our global operations and we took the step in 2008 to become the largest purchaser of green power in the U.S. according to the EPA, with the goal of hopefully stimulating the market for renewable energy over the long-term.

But today, we are spending more time looking at our products as well. Over the past few years, we’ve focused on also continuing to reduce the carbon footprint of our products, committing ourselves to being the leader in energy efficient performance. We’re already seeing results of this shift – we estimate that between 2006 and 2008, products based on the Intel® Core™ microarchitecture-including desktop, notebook, and server computers-used 20 terawatt hours less electricity than products powered by our previous-generation architecture would have. What’s 20 terawatts? Roughly equivalent to the energy savings associated with averting 15 million tons of energy-related CO2 emissions or removing 3 million cars from the road.

But the second piece of this is even more interesting – how our products and technology can be applied across other sectors of the economy to reduce emissions and environmental impact. For Intel, and others in our industry, there is great potential for our technology to play a role in reducing environmental impact and addressing climate change. Think of all of the industries that have traditionally underinvested in technology – how investing in technology can make them more energy efficient and help them reduce their impact. To get a picture of the opportunity here – check out the Smart2020 report as well as a recent blog post highlighting new academic research on the potential in this space.

What goes without saying is that significant collaboration will be required in order to fully realize this opportunity – so we’ve reached out to other companies and organizations to help advance the discussion. To take part in the discussion and see what Intel and other companies doing, also check out the blog for the Digital Energy Solutions Campaign which Intel has co-sponsored to explore how new technologies can be applied to improve energy efficiency.

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About Suzanne Fallender

Suzanne Fallender is Intel’s Director of Corporate Responsibility. In this role, she collaborates with key stakeholders across the company to integrate corporate responsibility concepts into company strategies, policies, public reporting, and stakeholder engagement activities to advance Intel’s corporate responsibility leadership and create positive social impact and business value. Suzanne leads a team of experienced professionals who engage with internal and external groups to review Intel’s corporate responsibility performance and to identify new opportunities to apply Intel’s technology and expertise to address social and environmental challenges. The team also works closely with Intel’s investor relations and corporate governance groups to drive an integrated outreach strategy with investors on governance and corporate responsibility issues. Suzanne has more than 20 years of experience in the field of corporate responsibility and socially responsible investment. During her time at Intel, Suzanne has held a number of corporate responsibility-related roles, including leading programs empowering girls and women through technology. Prior to Intel, Suzanne served as Vice President at Institutional Shareholder Services where she managed the firm’s socially responsible investing division. Suzanne holds an M.B.A. from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University and a B.A. from Trinity College in Hartford, CT. She has served on a number of leading industry advisory boards and committees on sustainability and corporate responsibility over the past decade and currently is a member of the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship’s Executive Forum and the Net Impact Advisory Council. Follow Suzanne on Twitter at @sfallender.