Intel Releases Climate Action Plan, Now Includes Scope 3 Emissions Target

Water clarifiers at Intel's Chandler, Arizona facility

(Credit: Intel)

by | Nov 16, 2023

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Intel has released its Climate Action Plan, outlining progress on the company’s environmental targets and explaining how the company plans to reduce Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions and conserve water while facing rising demand for its semiconductors.

The company reported a 4% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions in 2022 on its path to reaching a 10% reduction since 2019 and achieving net zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2040. The company’s global operations have also met 93% of energy needs with renewable electricity, on track to meet its goal of 100% renewable electricity by 2030.

Intel Sets New Scope 3 Emissions Goal, Faces Challenges to Meet SBTi

In terms of supply chain-based emissions, or Scope 3 emissions, Intel aims to achieve a 30% reduction by 2030, with a new target of meeting net zero upstream Scope 3 emissions by 2050. The company has founded the Semiconductor Climate Consortium toward this goal, which has encouraged external engagement with suppliers along its value chain to reduce Scope 3 emissions.

The report explains that the company has supported the consensus to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius as outlined in the Paris Agreement, but it faces difficulty in meeting Science-Based Targets initiative standards as they do not account for historical emissions reductions. Intel also explains that increased demand for semiconductors, commonly used for climate change solutions, has also impacted emissions reductions.

Incentives Encourage Corporate Responsibility, Water Conservation Efforts

Intel has linked part of its executive and employee compensation with meeting corporate responsibility goals since 2008, and in 2022, the company incorporated its sustainability goals into the incentive program. During 2022, Intel said it surpassed its renewable electricity and water conservation goals. The report claims the company conserved 8.5 billion gallons of water in its operations and restored 2.5 billion gallons of water to local watersheds.

Water is key to Intel’s operations as it is used heavily for manufacturing and data centers.

The company names water stress as a major risk to the company’s growth and maintains the goal of being water-positive, or restoring more water than it takes in, by 2030. The company reportedly plans to meet this goal by investing in water conservation projects and auditing manufacturing facilities to identify mitigation strategies, among other efforts.

“As one of the world’s leading semiconductor design and manufacturing companies, Intel is championing collective action to achieve more sustainable computing,” said Pat Gelsinger, CEO of Intel. “We are proud to lead the semiconductor industry in sustainable manufacturing and innovations in energy efficiency, but we do not underestimate the challenges ahead. We push forward with our purpose at the heart of everything we do — creating world-changing technology that improves the life of every person on the planet.”

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