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Intel pledges to have net-zero emissions by 2040

Peter Griffin, Editor. 14 April 2022, 10:35 am

US computer chip maker Intel has become the latest tech company to declare a net-zero emissions goal, pledging to reach the target for its global operations by 2040.

Reaching the target will require Intel to achieve 100% renewable electricity use across its global operations, invest US$300 million in energy conservation at its factories and massive chip fabrication plants and ensure new facilities meet independent sustainability standards.

Intel will also launch a cross-industry R&D effort to identify greener chemicals with "lower global warming potential" to use in its manufacturing processes.

Intel follows a host of large tech companies with a net-zero emissions goal in place. Some already claim to have achieved the goal, though many rely on carbon offset schemes to do so, with insufficient renewable energy available in many parts of the world to supply their data centres, factories and campuses.

A report released in February by the not for profit organisation NewClimate Institute looked at the emissions reduction programmes of 25 tech companies, Apple, Amazon, Google and Vodafone among them, and found many of the net-zero plans lack integrity.

"Net-zero targets aim to reduce the analysed companies' aggregate emissions by only 40% at most, not 100% as suggested by the term 'net-zero'," the researchers noted.  

Screenshot 2022-04-14 at 10.20.49 AM.png

Source: NewClimate Institute

"All of the 25 companies assessed in this report pledge some form of zero-emission, net-zero or carbon-neutral target. But just 3 of the 25 companies - Maersk, Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom - clearly commit to deep decarbonisation of over 90% of their full value chain emissions by their respective net-zero and zero-emission target years"

Intel wasn't included among the 25 companies scrutinised.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has advised that significant progress on global emissions reductions will have to take place by 2030 to avoid serious impacts of climate change.

But the 25 tech companies targets "fall well short" of that outcome, according to the NewClimate Institute.

"Among the companies we assessed, 15 of the 25 prominently report interim climate targets. However, our analysis finds that the average emission reduction commitment of full value chain emissions between 2019 and 2030 is just 23%," it reported.

Screenshot 2022-04-14 at 10.33.45 AM.png

Source: Intel

Intel says it is thinking beyond its supply chain and production processes to also reduce emissions from the processors and computer chips once they are in the data centres, computers and gadgets of its customers. It has set a goal to achieve a five times increase in energy efficiency for discrete graphics processing units by 2025 and remains committed to an earlier pledged goal to "increase product energy efficiency by 10 times for client and server microprocessors". 


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