Earth Day at Intel

Sustainability is the cornerstone of Intel’s business through its manufacturing, products and people.


  • April 22, 2024

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Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger recently outlined his ambition to make Intel  the most sustainable foundry, noting that this journey is only possible when Intel works with other companies. That’s why Intel brought together more than 140 organizations — corporations, academia, government, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), consortia and others — for the inaugural global Intel Sustainability Summit in March. The aim was to unite efforts to reduce the semiconductor value chain’s environmental impact, including transitioning to sustainable chemistries, standardizing carbon footprint methodologies and developing complementary net-zero roadmaps. Intel recognizes sustainability is a continuous conversation to generate new ideas and actions that move the industry forward.

“We’re on a mission to deliver a globally balanced supply chain that is resilient, trusted and sustainable,” said Keyvan Esfarjani, Intel’s chief global operations officer. “As we celebrate Earth Day, we’re reminded of our responsibility as industry leaders. We’re committed to creating more energy-efficient products, driving down our industry’s overall environmental footprint and empowering employees to give back to their communities worldwide.”

Intel understands that Earth Day isn’t a moment in time, but rather an ongoing conversation that enables both the company and its ecosystem to be the catalyst for a greener tomorrow. Intel’s dedication to the environment is rooted in its operations, products and people as it continues to meet, exceed and set audacious new targets to reach its 2030, 2040 and 2050 goals.

As Intel continues to expand operations, its dedication to using resources responsibly remains unchanged. In March, Intel released its Water Restoration Progress Report detailing the restoration projects it has funded in its local watersheds. This work coupled with the company’s efficient water management and water reuse efforts and collaboration with municipalities, resulted in Intel achieving net positive water in Costa Rica, India, Mexico and the U.S. in 2023.

Intel’s Fab 34 in Ireland was recently awarded LEED® gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council and features buildings that harness the power of heat rather than expelling it. The buildings use a 9-1 ratio of heat generated through heat recovery compared to heat generated by traditional methods, such as the use of fossil fuels. Rather than removing the heat from equipment through cooling towers, it’s captured and directed into production processes, meaning recovered heat is used for actions like keeping the buildings warm during cold weather. The successful heat recovery measures are being used in existing operations, including in New Mexico, Israel, Oregon and Arizona, and will be included in Intel’s new facilities in Ohio, Germany and Poland.

In line with Intel’s Climate Transition Action Plan, the company expects these efforts to help reduce the use of natural gas as it works to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across its operations by 2040.

To enable a future of more sustainable computing, Intel is also making significant progress in delivering more efficient products, software and solutions. This extends to Intel’s commitment to advancing AI responsibly, which includes working toward AI being built and deployed in a safe, sustainable and ethical way. The importance of this work is compounded as the proliferation of AI comes with increased demands for energy and water.

In the data center, Intel Gaudi AI accelerators and Xeon CPUs are enabling vast efficiencies to help customers achieve their sustainability goals. Intel's upcoming Gaudi® 3 AI accelerator is projected to deliver on average 50% faster inference throughput and 40% greater inference power efficiency than Nvidia H100 — at a fraction of the cost. In addition, Intel’s next-generation Intel® Xeon® 6 processors with built-in accelerator engines for AI will double the amount of AI capability per square foot of data center space1. This means data center operators can achieve more compute from their data center footprint, enabling a reduction in servers and energy use. In addition, Xeon 6 advanced telemetry enables monitoring and control of electricity consumption and carbon emissions to reduce operational carbon footprint.

To further increase data center sustainability, Intel and Shell have been working to advance the performance, safety and reliability of immersion cooling technology. Immersion cooling enables lower energy and water consumption of the data center as compared to traditional air cooling. Based on successful early results of testing in Intel’s Advanced Data Center Development Labs, Intel is granting Shell’s immersion cooling fluids (S5 LV) an exclusive preliminary certification and will conduct full testing with Intel products this year.

Intel also introduced its new Intel® Core™ Ultra processor family, which powers the Intel® Evo™ and Intel vPro® platforms for consumer and commercial designs. The latest Intel Evo edition laptops powered by Intel Core Ultra require a minimum of Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) silver, driving responsible and sustainable PC design.  And a single use of Intel vPro to support a PC remotely, instead of dispatching a technician via truck, can save carbon emissions equal to two years of use of that PC.

Across the globe, Intel employees are committed to building a brighter, more sustainable future. This Earth Month, Intel is hosting more than 20 volunteer projects in seven countries, including removal of invasive species with conservation organizations, collection of electronic waste for recycling and cleanup of litter.

In India, employees have participated in activities to care for their local environment.  This includes “plogging,” where Intel employees work with employees from other organizations to clean up the neighboring communities while jogging. In 2023, Intel employees also planted about 4,000 saplings in Bengaluru and Hyderabad. And they conducted community sustainability awareness drives on energy and water conservation and recycling e-waste.

At Intel Poland, employees are enthusiastic about efforts to mitigate the pressure on the planet. In 2023, under Operation Clean River, volunteers removed nearly 4 tons of garbage to help clean up area waterways.

Intel recognizes sustainability is the cornerstone of its business goals, which is why it ties sustainability metrics to the companywide annual performance bonus. Employees are rewarded for their efforts to help Intel reach its sustainability commitments. Since 2008, Intel has linked a portion of executive and employee compensation to corporate responsibility factors in its Annual Performance Bonus (APB). In 2023, Intel achieved its operational sustainability APB targets, including 95% renewable electricity, reduction of 130,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, restoration and conservation of 12 billion gallons of water, and disposal of less than 5% of waste in landfills.

Intel will release its annual Corporate Responsibility report on May 7, marking 30 years of its commitment to transparently reporting its environmental progress.

1 Based on architectural projections as of Feb. 14, 2023, versus prior-generation platforms. Your results may vary.