Intel’s taking another bold step to help combat climate change as a key player in renewable energy.
The company announced Wednesday it’s aiming to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.
Intel looks to reduce its emissions in a way that lines up with international standards and climate science, using carbon offsets to achieve that only in the event the company exhausts other options.
“This is a big deal. A lot of other tech companies have just software operations or real estate-associated emissions; they’re not manufacturing things. Our work is fairly carbon-intensive. So for us, this is an ambitious commitment,” Intel spokeswoman Linda Qian said. “We set that goal, knowing that it would be credible and put us in a leadership position.”
The process will be broken down into three levels, called scopes.
Scope 1 involves reducing emissions associated with Intel’s manufacturing and on-site fuel combustion, plus air conditioning and other refrigerants to keep facilities cool.
Scope 2 involves reducing indirect emissions coming from electricity used.
Scope 3 involves reducing emissions from materials Intel’s purchased from other businesses, in which Intel will partner with its suppliers to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by at least 30 percent.
“It’s important. Climate change is real, and it’s important that companies step up to address it,” Qian said.
To help ensure that feat’s accomplished, Intel looks to achieve the following by 2030:
- 100 percent renewable electricity worldwide
- Invest roughly $300 million in energy conservation at its facilities to achieve 4 billion kilowatt hours worth of energy savings
- Build new facilities to meet U.S. Green Building Council LEED program standards
- Launch a cross-industry research and development initiative to identify greener chemicals with lower global warming potential, and to develop new abatement technology to help reduce factory emissions released into the air
“We have important interim milestones we know we need to achieve in order to get there. But there is still a lot that’s unknown, and it is going to take a significant amount of work to make sure that Intel can achieve this,” Qian said.