By Ann Kelleher
Manufacturing Day started seven years ago to inspire more young people to become the manufacturers and innovators of the future. On behalf of Intel, I am happy to join the National Association of Manufacturers in celebration of manufacturing. At Intel, we have long believed that to truly be a leader in manufacturing, we must also advance environmental sustainability and corporate responsibility. For more than two decades, our sustainability practices have enabled us to be more efficient, reduce costs and produce innovative products that create significant value for our customers, investors, employees and community stakeholders.
Our long history of mindful manufacturing started with our co-founder Gordon Moore, who said: “We need to continually improve our manufacturing process, thereby reducing our burden on the environment and becoming an asset to the communities in which we live and work.”
Put simply: Everything we do today needs to harness the power of manufacturing to make a better tomorrow for everyone.
We’ve learned through the past few decades that long-term investing in sustainability spurs innovation that drives down cost and increases savings. For example, our sustainable water management efforts and partnerships with local watersheds have enabled us to save 64 billion gallons of water since 1998, which is enough water to fill nearly 100,000 Olympic-size swimming pools. Today, we return about 80% of water used in our operations to our communities, and we are on track to meet our goal to restore 100% by 2025.
Since 2008, we have been among the largest voluntary corporate purchasers of green power in the U.S. More than two-thirds of our global power and 100% of our U.S. and EU operations use green power sources. Recently, the EPA recognized us as a corporate leader for using more than 3.8 billion kWh of green power annually from on-site projects, utility programs and Green-e® certified renewable energy certificates. By proactively investing in energy efficiency projects, we’ve saved hundreds of millions of dollars on utility bills while significantly reducing our impact on the environment.
Sustainable building practices also produce long-term savings while benefiting the environment. We have achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification standards for all new buildings since 2012. Currently, more than 17.4 million square feet of space in 48 buildings have been LEED-certified, roughly the size of 300 football fields.
Our focus on sustainability doesn’t stop with the design and construction of our factories and buildings. Since 2008, we have recycled more than 75% of the total waste generated in our operations, and over the past three years, we’ve increased direct reuse and recovery of our manufacturing waste by 275%. We work to reduce the waste we generate – from metal plating to cafeteria leftovers – while increasing the amount reused, recovered and recycled. In 2018, we reached our goal of recycling 90% of our non-hazardous waste while continuing our efforts toward achieving zero hazardous waste to landfills by 2020.
We also partner with our suppliers to reduce environmental impact. Recently, we collaborated with a supplier to develop an innovative way to replace single-use plastic foam-based packaging with an alternative that can be recycled multiple times. During 2018, this new packaging solution reduced significant amounts of carbon dioxide by eliminating nearly 53,000 pounds of dry ice, 5,300 pounds of pallets and 4,000 pounds of cardboard from shipments of materials to Intel.
The safety and well-being of our employees is also critical to responsible manufacturing. We have a long history of advancing a strong safety culture across our operations, through a range of safety programs, awareness campaigns and training resources, all of which extend beyond our own operations. We have robust programs to educate and engage suppliers that support our global manufacturing operations to drive responsible and sustainable practices throughout the supply chain. Just this week, we were recognized in Ethical Corp.’s Responsible Business Awards for our leadership in supply chain responsibility.
We’re proud to be recognized among the most sustainable companies on the planet, including being named as a sustainability “All Star” by Fortune and as one of the World’s Most Reputable Companies for Corporate Responsibility by Forbes.
However, recognition is not what drives us. As a company, Intel is committed to building technology and products that touch the lives of our customers while leaving a positive impact in the many communities around the world we call home. A key part of this impact is our support of young people in our communities through STEM and mentoring activities that will enable them to become the next generation of engineers and innovators in sustainable manufacturing.
It is this generation who will join us to help build the innovative manufacturing practices of the future and inspire us in ways we haven’t yet imagined.
Ann Kelleher is senior vice president and general manager of Manufacturing and Operations at Intel Corporation.
Photo: Intel’s Ronler Acres campus in Hillsboro, Oregon, is surrounded by both natural and man-made wetlands, which help control floodwater, filter storm water, and provide a natural habitat for plants and animals. (Credit: Walden Kirsch/Intel Corporation)
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