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Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

Intel’s Push In Its Sustainable Journey


At a glance: Kathleen Fiehrer’s sustainable journey at Intel.

Dailycsr.com – 27 November 2019 – Intel started on its official sustainable journey back in the year of 1994 by releasing its “first public Environmental, Health, and Safety Report”. Ever since, the company has progress further onto the same road. In fact, in the past three years alone Intel “increased the reuse and recovery” of its manufacturing waste by “275%”.
However, Intel dedicates its progress to the human beings who work behind to push the company forward. Similarly, Kathleen Fiehrer is a materials engineer in Intel’s “supply chain organization”, while she has worked in “a variety of environmentally-focused roles” in her twenty years career with Intel. Her contributions in Intel’s effort to reduce the impact of its manufacturing waste needs to be mentioned.
As a result, Linda Qian caught up with Kathleen to understand more about her passion of sustainability. When the latter was asked what is it that drives her “personal passion for environmental sustainability”, Kathleen replied:
“I remember sitting in a college lecture at Seattle University and joking that the Cascades would be beachfront property due to the warming of the climate. While that was a stretch back then, it’s becoming closer to reality – new studies show that 150 million people in coastal lowlands may lose their homes to rising sea levels by the middle of this century. That’s when I decided to choose an area of study that would let me pursue an environmentally-focused career. I think we have an obligation to future generations and the responsibility of being caretakers of the globe. What’s going on with the climate is threatening our own livelihood and that of other species as well. It’s going to impact where we can live and the food we can eat”.
Moreover, Kathleen has also helped in writing Intel a white paper on circular economy and talking about her involvement in the project, she recounted:
“I got my first taste of it when I was developing waste treatment systems in the early 2000’s, but it wasn’t until I joined our supply chain organization in 2012 that I began intentionally identifying ways Intel could partner with our suppliers to move our manufacturing waste up the ‘waste hierarchy’ towards reuse and recovery. We had just published new environmental goals, including three focused on waste, which really helped to galvanize action”.
However, the journey has not been easy but Kathleen has “been persistent” and she added:
“My management chain has been very supportive of this work, so it wasn’t an uphill battle in that respect. It definitely helped that all of the initiatives have been cost neutral or cost-saving, though that’s often dependent on location, as waste management options may vary locally. Our waste management suppliers were essential to our progress in this space; they helped us in identifying these opportunities, and as our manufacturing processes evolve, we’ll need their support to build on this momentum”.