AMD aims to cut greenhouse gases by a third

Sunnyvale (CA) – Chipmaker AMD says it is working toward reducing greenhouse gas  emissions by 33 percent by the end of 2010. The company says it has already reduced emissions by approximately 20 percent including a 13 percent reduction from 2007 to 2008.

AMD’s 2008 Global Climate Protection Plan provides details of AMD’s programs to address environmental protection, corporate governance and social responsibility. The GCPP presents the company’s strategy, goals, and commitment to global climate protection and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

“We are pleased with the progress we’ve achieved on environmental and social issues in the past year and excited to share the results with the public, our customers and technology partners,” said Dirk Meyer, AMD president and CEO. “AMD’s commitment to operating our business responsibly remains a top priority, and while we are pleased with our record, we’re focused on continuing to drive improvement.”

One of the highlights of the report is the opening the new Austin, Texas “Lone Star” campus which achieved LEED Gold certification from the US Green Building Council in early 2009 and is powered by 100 percent renewable energy.

Sadly, AMD’s presence in Austin has not always been quite so green. In 2005 a large demonstration organised by Save Our Springs, a local environmental pressure group, criticized the chipmaker for polluting the surrounding area and saying that the large site would create pollution during and after construction, while the 2,000 people expected to work there would look for houses near the area, contributing to additional development.

According to SOS: “Most large companies in the Austin area have respected our community’s three decades long intention to keep major employers in Austin’s Desired Development Zone and away from the fragile Drinking Water Protection Zone and specifically the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer.

“Advanced Micro Devices recently bucked public opinion and public policy guidance by moving their operations out of the Desired Development Zone and into the Barton Springs watershed, where they are building an 860,000 square foot complex. We encourage companies to locate in Austin responsibly. AMD instead was irresponsible with their location, and consequently polluted the waterways of the Barton Springs watershed with dirty runoff after a relatively minor rain event.”

SOS even produced a video of the environmental damage:

But in happier news, AMD won a Climate Protection Award in 2008 from the US Environmental Protection Agency, recognizing the company’s emission reduction strategy and implementation efforts.

Also in 2008, the company received an energy conservation prize from the Suzhou Economic Development Bureau in China after programs implemented at AMD’s Suzhou facilities reduced power consumption by approximately 4,655 Megawatt-hours per year, enough energy to power more than 2,000 Chinese households for a year.