Intel Slashes Carbon Footprint by Over 20%, Reduces Power Costs by $4 Million

intel building photo

Photo via cytech via Flickr CC

Intel has given a lot of lip service to reducing the carbon footprint of the IT industry. Thankfully, the company is walking the walk as well - and taking big strides. The progress includes cutting its overall carbon footprint by 24% in 2009, and trimming its energy use by 9% during the same year - equating to a $4 million savings on electricity costs - all while keeping business rolling strong. Intel's progress is made mostly by focusing on one area in particular. The biggest part of Intel's reduction was made by zeroing in on data center efficiency, according to their corporate responsibility report released this week. Data centers are one of the biggest energy sucks for the IT industry, since it takes a lot of energy to keep servers cool. The vast majority of energy in data centers goes simply to cooling. However, Intel has already reduced the carbon footprint of its processor factories and data centers by 16%. And they're serious about getting the whole IT industry on board, setting up a challenge to come up with the smartest data center efficiency ideas. The company hopes to save $650 million through data center optimization by 2012. It might seem like a tall order, but so much smart design has come out for data centers recently that we're confident they can do it.

In 2008, the company was the biggest purchaser of green power in the US. That alone says a lot on their stance on sustainability. But the company knows that it's not just about buying renewable energy - it's about over all reduction. According to the report, Intel reduced its consumption of energy - including electricity, gas and diesel - from 5.6 million MWh to 5.1 MWhs.

Here's Will Swope, Intel's VP of Sustainability on what the company is doing to reduce energy consumption and trim down even more their nearly $500 million energy bill.

Meanwhile, Intel's campus in Haifa, Israel, received LEED Gold certification from the US Green Building Council. Slated to launch in June, it's the first LEED-certified building in the country.

Intel shows no signs of slowing down as an IT industry leader in both products, and sustainability efforts. They're hoping to do even better next year, already disclosing for the first time the list of its top 50 suppliers, which they'll be evaluating on new environmental, social, and governance requirements and metrics in 2010, and setting new, higher goals.

Intel is certainly deserving of a round of applause. You can read the full report at Intel.
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