What’s New: An integral part of Intel’s sustainability strategy is reducing waste, while finding innovative ways to recover, reuse and upcycle. This “circular economy” approach means keeping products and materials in use for as long as possible and then giving them a new life. Implementing circular economy principles helps Intel minimize its operational footprint while delivering value back to the company. In 2021, Intel’s circularity efforts delivered over $100 million in revenue, more than $1 billion in cost avoidance and enabled the company to avoid, recycle, reuse or recover more than 130,000 metric tons of manufacturing waste.
“Keeping waste out of landfills is a critical priority for reducing our operational footprint as we deliver the technologies that power our digital world. Intel’s circular economy practices are a win-win – not only are they better for the environment but they also reduce our operational costs. These efforts benefit our business, customers, stakeholders and the communities in which we operate.” – Keyvan Esfarjani, Intel executive vice president, chief global operations officer and general manager of Manufacturing, Supply Chain and Operations
What It Means for Intel’s Manufacturing: Much of Intel’s waste is generated by construction and manufacturing activities. In order to meet its ambitious 2030 goals to achieve zero waste to landfill and implement circular economy strategies for 60% of its manufacturing waste streams, the company is looking across the business to find ways to upcycle materials. Examples include:
What It Means for Product Design: Intel also designs for circularity in its products. For example:
“Sustainability can’t be an add-on; it needs to be factored in from the beginning,” says Jennifer Huffstetler, Intel’s chief product sustainability officer “By harnessing Intel’s prowess as an integrated design manufacturer, we can accelerate adoption and scale availability of more sustainable silicon features, products and solutions that help reduce climate impact. We are uniquely positioned to partner with and help our customers achieve their sustainability goals.”
What It Means for Product Longevity: Extending the life of products is a critical component of the circular economy — it reduces additional consumption of energy and materials needed to create new assets. For example:
Improved hardware modularity and repairability can extend the life of a PC, but a common barrier for donation or resale is that users often don’t know how to erase stored data. One benefit Intel offers for business customers is remote secure erase in vPro platforms, which makes it easier to erase the entire solid-state drive (SSD). This streamlines businesses’ ability to prolong the life of used technologies.