Posted in: news

11th November 2014

Intel: Employees get Competitive with Sustainability

Intel, has linked sustainability performance to the bonuses of all employees since 2008. They set sustainability targets—like increased energy efficiency products, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, energy use in its operations, and improving environmental leadership reputation. And bonuses are contingent on Intel’s overall performance in reaching them.

Michael Jacobson, Intel's director of corporate sustainability, argues that this policy necessitates increased employee engagement across the board, since “everyone cares about their pay.”

While Intel has faced some criticism as to the exact percentage of employee bonuses directly linked to sustainable practice, a recent article in the Guardian concludes that this approach appears, on the surface, to have been successful. By 2012 Intel’s greenhouse gas emissions were down 35% on an absolute basis and 28% on a per chip basis, its energy reductions were up and its operations were growing.

Intel also runs sustainability competitions within their employee base, and financially incentivizes workers to devise interesting and innovative sustainable ideas. One victorious team from New Mexico reduced C02 emissions by 27,000 tons per year at a central utilities building. Jacobson argues that financially incentivizing employees to think about sustainability at Intel has lead not only to improvements in Intel's business practices, but also to improvements in their products: “When you look at our servers built in 2007 versus today, you see 1,900% more energy efficiency,” he says. “We have our employees and these incentives to thank for that.”

A breakdown of Intel's remuneration structure and employee sustainability competitions is available here.