Applied’s Environmental Footprint
In 2007, Applied Materials set goals for improving its environmental footprint worldwide. These goals were based on a thorough understanding of current operations made possible through several years of collecting relevant information.
We started with the facilities we knew best — our Silicon Valley, Austin and Israel operations ― but we knew that those locations weren’t the whole story. We also knew we would grow organically as a business, experience cyclical changes, and make acquisitions that would need to be included in our accounting. We wanted our goals to be realistic, yet make us stretch.
Goals were set for energy (electricity and natural gas represented by ‘metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents’), water, waste and paper use reduction. We were practical in what should be focused on and aggressive, by many standards, like our CO2 reductions goals where we compared our United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) Climate Leaders goal to those set by members of that program. In terms of paper reduction and waste diversion we set especially aggressive goals. In hindsight, the bar was set a little low for water given how we have performed since 2007.
We are well in to 2010 and have completed a rigorous ‘calendar year’ look at the data as reported to the Climate Leaders, Carbon Disclosure Project, and the Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition. So how are we doing toward meeting our goals? Take a look at the chart below:
Our 2012 goal for CO2 is a 50,000 tCO2e reduction using 2006 as a baseline. We have committed to an absolute reduction, no matter the business performance. In 2009, we achieved a 32 tCO2e reduction from 2006, putting Applied 65% of the way to our 2012 goal.
We set a 10% water reduction goal and have reduced our usage by 17% worldwide.
We set an 80% waste diversion goal and have been at about 85% for several years and expect to reach 90% now that composting efforts have been instituted in our Bay Area and Austin sites, with other locations planned.
Our goal of a 50% paper reduction by 2008 has been met and we are at 60% reduction using 2007 as our baseline. To date, just in Santa Clara, 30,000 reams of paper have been saved, a stack of paper almost one mile high.
This isn’t the end of this story; we have more work to do. The low-hanging fruit has been achieved and now we need to look for other ways to reduce our environmental footprint. With the implementation of Green Teams at many of our major locations, it may be time to re-evaluate and set new goals!
Post a comment with your ideas on other ways to help reduce our environmental footprint.