AMD has announced new goals designed to lessen its impact on the environmental. The chipmaker is pledging to further reduce its emissions of so-called greenhouse gasses, such as carbon dioxide, as part of its 2007 Global Climate Protection Plan, unveiled today. Since 2001, AMD says it has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by way of actions such as expanding wafer fabrication in Dresden, Germany. Its two Dresden plants, Fab 30 (a.k.a. Fab 38) and Fab 36, are powered by trigeneration process plants, according to AMD. (There's a PDF file containing more information on this process, as it relates to Fab 36, on the Web site of AMD's contractor M+W Zander's, here: Link.)
AMD’s now shooting to reduce its energy consumption by 40 percent and, in so doing, further reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by another 33 percent by 2010 versus 2006. As part of the effort to reduce carbon emissions, it pledges to purchase electricity for its Austin, Texas operations from Austin Energy's GreenChoice program, which taps sources, including wind, solar panels and landfill gas to generate the juice. Windmills and solar panels don’t release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as part of their processes of generating electricity. This makes them a heck of a lot “greener” than burning fuel oil or coal. Those two processes certainly do release carbon dioxide.
What’s really AMD doing? It’s setting an example for end customers. Intel, for its part, is doing much the same with its own environmental efforts. (Intel says it has reduced its energy consumption by more than 20 percent over the last three years.) The two chipmakers use a lot of electricity in their manufacturing operations. But, after emphasizing processor performance per watt so heavily for the last two years, it wouldn’t look very good for either company to consume comparatively more electricity. Hence their work to reduce the juice. But their environmental measures also make economic sense. Reducing electricity consumption also helps cuts costs and that goes right to the bottom line.