Inside Intel's 3 pillars of sustainability

Intel's approach to sustainability is simple, yet effective. With a focus on three areas -- data collection and transparency, integration across business units and engagement with internal and external stakeholders -- the chip maker has devised a strategy that seems to work.

This year -- in addition to IBM, Campbell’s Soup, SC Johnson, Ford Motors, GAP and Ingersoll Rand -- Intel and its partners won the Climate Leadership Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for aggressively reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

It's also investing in its efforts. According to Intel's corporate social responsibility report released this year, the company has invested $100 million in water conservation projects and $58 million in energy conservation projects since 1998.

Suzanne Fallender, Intel's director of CSR strategy and communications, gave GreenBiz an inside look into how the company implements its three-pronged approach to sustainability.

Data collection and transparency

"Managing the data and having a culture that focuses on that data has helped us build trust, improve our performance and do more towards transparency every year," Fallender said.

For instance, Intel's environmental and health and safety division looks at how much water and energy are used and reports it annually. This is reviewed internally and also externally when its data is compared and ranked alongside other companies.

Intel compares how it has fared with others -- where it has done well and where it needs to improve by benchmarking its performance.

One area where it has done really well is in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which had been cut to 2007 levels by the end of last year.

It has also tried to be creative in improving transparency by installing live webcams at facilities in China, Costa Rica and New Mexico that provide a bird's eye view of the premises, as well as an inside look at how its plants manage energy and water.

Image of Corinthian pillars provided by Sirozha via Shutterstock

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