Texas Instruments Saves Big with Efficiency Projects

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In 2008, Texas Instruments (TI) saved $5.1 million through reducing energy use by 5% and water consumption by over 7%. As a result, TI reduced its worldwide carbon footprint to 2.07 million metric tons of CO2, which represents a 2.8% reduction in the company’s worldwide carbon footprint.

The company’s 2008 Corporate Social Responsibility Report outlines the 159 distinct initiatives that were undertaken to realize the company-wide savings. Entitled, “Building a Better Future,” the new report organizes the company’s environmental performance into eight categories including air quality, climate change, energy use, alternative transportation, water use, materials usage & recycling, sustainable site policies and principles.

However, the most captivating elements of the report are the environmental performance highlights.

2008 indicators of success at Texas instruments include but are not limited to:
• Reduced total energy use by 5% from 2007.
• Reduced total water use by 7.3%.
• Recycled 1.4 billion U.S. gallons of water (16% of the company’s global water use).
• Recycled 88% of non-industrial waste.
• Recycled 91% of total waste.
• Constructed the first LEED Silver certified building in the Philippines.
• Set a goal of being LEED certified at all of their major existing buildings globally by 2011.

Of the 159 initiatives that TI embarked upon to accomplish these savings, the key projects include:
• A well-water cooling system in Germany, which leverages an underground aquifer to balance the site’s heating and cooling system. This system alone saved TI roughly $1 million in energy savings and reductions in annual water consumption by nearly 33 million gallons.
• Reusing 228 million gallons of water at a North Texas facility to scrub manufacturing exhaust enabled a savings of $937,000.
• In some instances, TI cut energy costs in half through targeting energy-intensive chillers and vacuum pumps and replacing the targeted system components with more efficient machinery and parts.
• TI avoided a 14% rise in employee commuting-related CO2 emissions through increasing the use of employee carpooling systems, mass transit and onsite shuttles.

Despite these accomplishments, the company still faces challenges in the years to come. The latest report identifies the challenges ahead, which include increased operating costs from greater regulatory assessments. Specifically, the company is concerned that increased regulations may result in a market in which necessary replacement materials for semiconductor manufacturing either won’t be available at cost-effective prices or, the materials won’t be available at all.

TI is currently exploring renewable energy sources and efficiency strategies as a means of determining a clear path to remaining profitable in a low-carbon economy. Given the company’s ability to achieve such significant savings in 2008 is a clear indicator that despite whatever challenges may lie ahead, the company is well-poised to create innovative and cost-effective solutions to maintaining it’s status as an industry leader while also reducing the environmental impact of doing business.