As we design, build, and operate our facilities, we keep environmental performance top of mind. We power our facilities with modest amounts of renewable energy, and we’re working hard to promote water conservation around the globe.
Reducing our Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions.
Climate change is a serious environmental, social, and economic threat that calls for immediate and concerted action among all sectors of society. Qualcomm is committed to minimizing our GHG emissions, in large measure by reducing our consumption of carbon-based fuels for energy and transportation. Our goal is a 30 percent reduction in absolute Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions from our global operations, compared to a 2014 baseline, by 2025.
One of the ways we’re achieving our goal is by designing energy efficiencies into our facilities infrastructure. For example, our combined heat and power plants enable us to self-generate electricity to meet our site needs, while efficiently utilizing the waste heat to provide cooling to our headquarters’ buildings.
We’ve expanded the number of electric vehicles charging stations at our facilities to support the growing employee population with electric cars. We also give employees incentives to commute by carpool/vanpool, bike, and public transit, which helps to reduce Scope 3 GHG emissions from employee commuting. We reduced our GHG emissions in India alone by approximately 10,600 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) through the purchase of solar energy for our Bangalore offices. This represents the first year of output from our 10-year power purchase agreement signed in 2018 to increase our renewable energy consumption. We also own and operate several on-site solar generating systems in San Diego and Bangalore, which are helping us achieve our GHG goal.
Reporting our GHG emissions.
Qualcomm has achieved Climate Registered™ Gold status. We did this by successfully measuring our worldwide Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions according to The Climate Registry’s best-in-class program, having the data third-party verified, and then reporting the data on The Climate Registry’s website.
At Qualcomm, as part of being accountable around our environmental performance and GHG emission reduction efforts, we have been responding to CDP Climate Change survey on an annual basis since 2010. Read our disclosures to the CDP Climate Change surveys.
Beyond GHG emissions.
In addition to tracking our GHG emissions, we track emissions of nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, and volatile organic chemicals that are generated as by-products of three cogeneration turbine plants at our corporate headquarters. These highly efficient turbines are fueled by natural gas and enable us to produce some of our own electricity, reducing costs and GHG output. We use heat captured in the turbines to power large chillers in our corporate campus’ air-conditioning system, further saving electricity and the carbon emissions associated with producing it.
We are committed to conducting our operations and activities in a manner that provides and maintains safe, healthful, and productive working conditions, protects the environment and the communities in which we work, and conserves natural resources. We work to continually improve our established environment, health and safety (EHS) management systems to maintain compliance with applicable legal and other requirements, monitor and improve EHS performance, eliminate hazards and risks, and incorporate industry best practices.
Our manufacturing facilities in China, Germany and Singapore have been International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14001 (Environmental Management System Standard) certified since 1999. We plan to certify our production sites in Germany, Singapore and China according ISO 45001 (Occupational Health and Safety standard) by the end of 2020. Additionally, our Germany facility has been ISO 50001 (Energy Management System standard) certified since 2014 and we plan to expand our ISO 50001 certification to our Singapore and China facilities by 2023.
Using electricity more efficiently helps us minimize our carbon footprint while avoiding millions of dollars in costs. Energy-efficient lighting, heating and cooling systems, data centers, and information technology (IT) equipment all help lighten our load. We power our facilities with modest amounts of renewable energy. When feasible, we build new buildings according to the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) methodology. These highly sustainable buildings have minimal impact on site and location, incorporate highly efficient water and energy fixtures, utilize no or low VOC products, and maximize use of recycled water and recyclable/recycled materials, whenever possible. By sourcing, designing, and building with sustainable products, we minimize waste and water usage, improve indoor air quality, and help reduce GHG emissions.
Qualcomm depends on a robust IT infrastructure for all aspects of our daily operations. We take steps to minimize energy consumption and waste in our IT system, keeping costs and environmental considerations in mind. Simple measures like powering down printers, connecting through wireless backhaul, and deploying modular and performance optimized data centers have made a big difference. Our kitchens and cafes have active recycling and food composting programs which help reduce waste to landfills. We also engage employees by conducting regular on-site events for personal e-waste collection and recycling.
As water sources around the world become increasingly stressed, we’ve become acutely aware of the need to treat water as the precious resource it is. Assessing our water footprint and conserving water are priorities, particularly in California, the home of our headquarters and a state perennially challenged by water scarcity. In our facilities, we make our greatest gains in water conservation by using reclaimed water instead of potable water for irrigation and our cooling plant systems, whenever possible.
As a member of the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA), we expect our manufacturing suppliers to reduce wasted water and to treat wastewater to regulatory standards prior to discharge or disposal. Because semiconductor processing is water intensive, we work closely with the suppliers that make our integrated-circuit products to promote efficient water use. We ask our key semiconductor manufacturing suppliers to report their water use via the CDP water disclosure survey or the RBA Environmental Reporting Initiative.