Wednesday, 2 September 2009

AMD global protection plan

Along with its CSR report, AMD has just released its ninth annual (and rather pretentiously named) Global Climate Protection Plan which "presents AMD’s strategy, goals, and commitment to continually reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to global climate protection efforts". The report is here.

Just focusing on greenhouse gas emissions, AMD has already been successful in achieving targets. In 2004 the company set an EPA Climate Leaders goal to reduce emissions by 40% by 2007 against a baseline year of 2002 (as measured by kilogram carbon equivalent emissions per manufacturing index, which relates to the number of wafers processed, the complexity of the fabrication process and the wafer size - i.e. 'normalised'). By year-end 2006 AMD had achieved its goal by decreasing normalised emissions by more than 50%.

The company is now working towards two goals:

- A new Climate Leaders greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal of reducing normalised emissions 33% by year-end 2010 relative to the 2006 baseline. By the end of 2008 the company had already achieved a 22% reduction.

- An operational energy efficiency to reduce normalised energy use by 40% by year-end 2010 relative to the 2006 baseline. By the end of 2008 a reduction of 27% was already in the bag.

The chart shows the emissions reductions against targets, but the text points out that the 13% reduction in 2008 over 2007 was mainly due to achieving a higher productivity rate (as expressed by increases in the Manufacturing Index) at a slightly lower level of GHG emissions relative to 2007 (my italics).

AMD is clearly working hard at reducing emissions (and there are a number of other initiatives in the report) but just talking about 'normalised' emissions does bother me. We're not going to save the planet unless we reduce absolute emissions and the report would benefit from acknowledging this point more.

On the other hand, AMD does have two factors in its favour when using these normalised views:

- What the company produces is an essential part of reducing emissions in other parts of the economy.

- The company is also using (and promoting the use) of renewable energy. In April 2009 it was listed as the 19th largest Fortune 500 purchaser of renewable energy.

© The Green IT Review

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