The First Semiconductor Company to Obtain LEED Silver Certification for a Manufacturing Campus
- Intel’s Ocotillo manufacturing campus in Arizona received LEED silver certification for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance.
- Intel is the first semiconductor or industrial technology company to obtain LEED certification for an entire manufacturing campus.
- A team of Intel employees determined a way to harness the carbon dioxide emitted by the Ocotillo manufacturing facility in order to grow algae for biofuel.
SANTA CLARA, Calif., April 21, 2011 –Intel® Corporation became the first semiconductor or industrial technology company to obtain LEED certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for a manufacturing campus. A certificate from LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally recognized stamp of approval. The LEED silver certification for “Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance” went to Intel’s entire Ocotillo campus in Arizona, a site that includes three generations of wafer fabrication plants, support and office buildings.
As a result of Intel’s longstanding environmental conservation efforts, no capital improvements were required to achieve the certification. Notable features of the campus include:
- Semiconductor Industry Association benchmark data shows that Intel’s Ocotillo campus utilized 26 percent less energy than the average semiconductor campus.
- Two-hundred and 300 kW solar electricity support structures were erected in the Ocotillo campus parking lot in 2010. Currently ranking amongst the 10 largest solar installations in its utility territory, the Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) generated by these installations are transferred to the local utility to support their regulatory obligations and programs.
- In 2010, the Ocotillo campus recycled 90 percent of its solid waste (more than 10,000 tons) and achieved 66 percent site wide water conservation, saving approximately 5 million gallons of fresh water per day.
- The Ocotillo campus utilizes a pipe that feeds water not suitable for drinking from the City of Chandler’s waste water treatment plant directly back to Intel. As a result, 100 percent of the irrigation water and 95 percent of the cooling tower water is non-potable.
- One-hundred percent of captured storm water is retained onsite.
“Given the complexity and size of the Ocotillo campus, it was an immense undertaking to seek certification of this manufacturing campus,” said Brian Krzanich, senior vice president and general manager of Manufacturing and Supply Chain for Intel. “We take these steps not just in Arizona, but at our other facilities around the world, because we see a combination of economic advantages and opportunities to reduce our environmental impact, which in turn betters our business.”
Intel has a policy of designing all new buildings to a minimum of LEED Silver and is also committed to making strategic improvements to its existing locations. In fact, in April 2010, Intel announced that it had received LEED Gold certification for Intel Design Center 9 in Haifa, Israel. That same month, KM 1, an Intel factory and office building in Kulim, Malaysia, achieved basic LEED certification for strategic improvements made to the 14-year-old facility.
Growing Algae on the Roof
Apart from striving to meet the green building requirements laid out in the LEED rating system, Intel engineers are constantly innovating with sustainability in mind. A team of such innovators at the Ocotillo campus determined that the carbon dioxide emissions produced by the fabrication facility (“the fab”) were well-suited to grow algae, which can be used to create clean-burning biofuel.
Working with Arizona State University (ASU), the team erected a small proof-of-concept model on the roof of the Ocotillo fab, which demonstrates the capture of boiler emissions, the use of the emissions to grow algae, and the conversion of those algae into biofuel. This sort of carbon recycling could reduce the overall carbon emissions of the fab and, by creating a sustainable alternative fuel, displace the carbon emissions of burning fossil fuels from the Intel boilers.
The next phase of the project will focus on measuring the amounts of carbon captured, identifying options for implementing the concept on a larger scale, and assessing how algae-based carbon recycling should be recognized under various regulatory regimes. The Intel and ASU participants plan to continue to make their research results publicly available under the open, collaborative research model the team has established.
This project is part of Intel’s Sustainability in Action program, through which employees can secure funding to share Intel’s expertise in environmental sustainability with communities around the world. This program is a key element in Intel’s efforts to engage all employees and drive corporate responsibility and sustainability deeper into the corporate culture.