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10/29/2008
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Kevin Ferguson
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AMD Releases Green Report

AMD today released its eighth annual Global Climate Protection Plan, incorporating for the first time the environmental impact its suppliers have on its finished goods.

AMD today released its eighth annual Global Climate Protection Plan, incorporating for the first time the environmental impact its suppliers have on its finished goods.As promised, the detailed report is quite candid, including the acknowledgment that while it has reduced its own greenhouse gas emissions -- based on facilities it operated in the previous year -- its overall emissions have increased when the ATI Technologies facilities it acquired are added to the mix.

While five of the seven AMD facilities showed a significant decrease in greenhouse gas emissions in 2007 from the previous year, its overall emissions increased 32%, largely because of ATI, which reported a whopping 269% increase in 2007 from 2006. "With the acquisition of ATI Technologies in 2006, AMD's supply chain has become more complex, relying more heavily on outsourced manufacturing for graphics and consumer electronics products," the AMD report states. "The interdependency of climate impacts of the supply chain is expected to present a challenge and opportunities for progress for years to come."

The other AMD site that showed an increase in emissions was the plant in Suzhou, China, which showed a 37% rise.

Excepting for ATI, AMD reduced its greenhouse gas emissions in 2007 by 9%. Its goal is a further reduction by 33% by the end of 2010, from 2006. It also reduced its energy use by 20% from 2006 and hopes to reduce it by 40% by the end of 2010, based on the 2006 levels, the report states.

Other details of note in the report are AMD's efforts to include nearly every GHG standard and program in the world -- from the International Standards Organization to The Climate Registry -- as well as hundreds of GHG inventories prepared by individual companies. The result is a more extensive accounting. For example, although there are no standardized methods to quantify emissions of nitrous oxide and fluorinated liquids, AMD triangulates results by using data from numerous supply-chain sources.

AMD also releases so-called data from Scope 3 sources. Scope 3 is a tool used to calculate indirect emissions associated with supply chain, product distribution, employee business travel, and commuting.

The estimates vary wildly: AMD estimates that Scope 3 emissions for its products equaled 295,400 Metric Tons of Carbon Equivalents -- plus 18% or minus 17%. AMD uses the Greenhouse Gas Protocol to quantify greenhouse gas emissions.

"It's a start," says Larry Vertal, senior strategist for AMD Green, the chipmaker's environmental program. "Our willingness in trying to set an example without greenwashing and exaggerating sets an example by highlighting where the weaknesses are."

AMD also notes in its report that its new Lone Star campus in Austin, Texas, will use 100% renewable energy from Austin Energy's GreenChoice Program through 2015. The campus was designed to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification.

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