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3 Posts authored by: tim.mohin Employee

Recently AMD joined dozens of corporations, including Apple, BestBuy, Cisco, Facebook, Google, HP and others in the Business Coalition for Equality.

 

The Business Coalition for Equality is a group of leading U.S. employers that support the Equality Act, federal legislation that would provide the same basic protections to LGBT people as are provided to other protected groups under federal law.

 

The Equality Act creates clear, consistent protections to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment ensuring that LGBT employees are hired, fired, and promoted based on their performance or business needs. In addition, the bill provides protections from discrimination for LGBT people in housing, credit, and jury service. The bill would also prohibit discrimination in public accommodations and federal funding on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

 

Some might ask, with everything going on at AMD, why would we take a stand on a controversial social issue?  We have a very full and challenging agenda as a company and we should not be distracted so, why take this action?

 

AMD supports this initiative for two reasons:

  1. There is a strong business imperative for this position as AMD competes globally for a talented and diverse workforce.
  2. A core responsibility embodied in AMD’s Worldwide Standards of Business Conduct is to foster an atmosphere in which equal opportunity extends to every member of the AMD Community. We honor diversity and treat each other fairly. These are the cornerstones of our culture.

 

The values of diversity, fairness and equality are central to our industry. These values fuel creativity and inspiration, and those in turn make the U.S. technology sector the most admired in the world today. AMD is on record with a growing number of companies in support of non-discrimination, equality and fairness for all.

 

We believe that religious freedom, inclusion, and diversity can co-exist and everyone including LGBT people and people of faith should be protected under their state’s civil rights laws. AMD also supported marriage equality in the landmark US Supreme Court case of Hollingsworth v. Perry in 2013 based in the same reasoning.  While AMD will not join every public initiative, our longstanding commitment to fairness and equal opportunity remains unchanged. We believe in a workplace where all employees have the opportunity to contribute based on their skills and interests.

 

Diversity and non-discrimination is a key tenant of AMD’s corporate responsibility program. I invite you to read about the full scope of AMD’s corporate responsibility progress in our current Corporate Responsibility report.

 

Tim Mohin  

Senior Director, Corporate Responsibility | AMD Public Affairs

Three billion personal computers in use today consume more than 1% of energy production, and 30 million computer servers use an added 1.5% of global electricity generation. And it's not just computers using all of this power. The explosion of smartphones, tablets and the other digitally enabled devices - the so called "Internet of Things" - is causing all of those numbers to escalate. By 2020, the estimate is that there will be 50 billion connected devices - about seven devices for every person on the planet today - that are forecasted to consume 14% of global electricity generation.

So, with this large and growing power demand, is the digital revolution helping or hurting efforts to reduce greenhouse gasses? A panel discussion at the recent Boston College Corporate Citizenship Conference dug into this question. The panel featured Sam Naffziger, Corporate and IEEE Fellow from AMD; Dr. Neal Elliott at ACEEE; Chris Lloyd of Verizon; and Dr. Michael Webber from the University of Texas. Titled "The Future Is Energy Efficiency: How the Digital Revolution Affects Sustainability," this discussion explored the sustainability implications of the technology revolution and the trend lines that will impact the future.

Obviously, conserving energy is an important issue for the technology industry. By saving energy, we can help reduce costs, preserve natural resources and mitigate the climate impacts associated with energy production and use. Case in point: About a year ago AMD announced a goal to improve the energy efficiency of its mobile processors by 25 times by the year 2020 from a 2014 baseline. It's an ambitious goal but one worth aiming for. Using a car analogy, this rate of improvement would be like turning a 100-horsepower car that gets 30 miles per gallon into a 500-horsepower car that gets 150 miles per gallon in only six years.

That's pretty significant. Put another way, if all laptops in use in 2020 matched AMD's energy efficiency goal, the annual energy savings could amount to 18.4 billion kilowatt hours. That's equivalent to the output from 3.3 coal-fired power plants, which is enough to supply 150% of the annual power needs for Washington D.C. And that's just for laptops. If similar efficiencies extended throughout the information and communications technology (ICT) industries, the savings would be compounded.

But there is an even bigger story: As we move into the era of the "Internet of Things," digitally enabled devices are being utilized in a myriad of ways that can save energy and benefit society. From new medical devices to distance learning technologies to connected thermostats, digitally enabled devices are helping to make our world smarter and more efficient. Just one example from the GeSI SMARTER 2020 study: Digitally enabled systems could cut greenhouse gas emissions 16.5% by 2020, resulting in $1.9 trillion savings in energy costs.

The ACEEE uses the term "intelligent efficiency" to characterize the savings that result from applying ICT to energy using systems, and their research shows that that these savings can exceed 15%. Of course ICT uses some energy to achieve these savings, but the research shows that intelligent efficiency saves between 10 to 20 times the energy it requires.

So, the message is twofold: Energy-efficient technology is essential for our digital future and these technologies can enable energy savings across the entire economy. It's a win-win situation: As more systems are enabled with energy-efficient digital technology, customers save money and we lighten our environmental footprint. As someone who has worked in environmental protection for more than 30 years, it's a rare and wonderful thing when the needs of an industry and the environment align.

Tim Mohin Director of Corporate Responsibility AMD

By Tim Mohin with Justin Murrill

 

In 1970 the Beatles released their last album, Vietnam War protests were rampant, and the first Earth Day was held in Washington DC. Just about everything has changed since 1970, but our annual celebration of Earth Day has only gained momentum. And at the recent 45th Earth Day anniversary, big crowds continued to turn out in support of the environment.

While environmental advocates and corporations were at odds at the first Earth Day, corporations now embrace environmentalism. As of this writing, the Corporate Register lists 65,081 corporate sustainability reports across 12,419 companies. There are lots of reasons for the growing détente between corporations and environmentalists, but there is one that may be less apparent - the competition for talent.

A recent Harris poll on “green workplaces” concluded that “being green has become part of everyday conversations” with 75 percent of poll respondents saying they “would insist upon change if they saw obvious wasteful practices at work,” and 44 percent saying they “would rather be unemployed than work for a company that’s knowingly harming the environment.”

Those are compelling numbers! Companies know that being good to the environment is good for their reputation. Now they are increasingly aware that it is good for recruiting, retaining and motivating the best employees – and that can have big impacts for the bottom line. So, with another Earth Day behind us, companies may be struggling to keep the momentum going. Here are three “evergreen” strategies that may help:

 

Create public commitments and publish your progress

Many companies have made public environmental commitments such as reducing water consumption or greenhouse gas emissions. Publicizing your goals and progress helps your employees and stakeholders share in the accomplishments.

AMD recently announced the successful completion of our five year environmental goals, which provided an authentic and credible context for employee outreach. Also, being transparent as possible about what is working and what is not in your environmental programs helps build credibility and can be a call to action for your employees. For example, AMD publicized the shocking number of disposable cups discarded annually in our break rooms along with the costs, then we offered employees a reusable mug if they pledged to use stop using disposable ones. The approach saved over 400,000 cups and $30,000 last year alone.

Make commitments beyond the fence-line

It turns out that most of our environmental footprint is outside the workplace. While these impacts are harder to address, if we are going to move the needle we have to get beyond our four walls. For AMD and many companies, our suppliers are a big part of our impact. We partnered with our largest suppliers to create “best-in-class” goals for environmental performance and monitor their progress once per quarter.  Also, because our products consume energy, AMD established a goal to reduce the power consumption of our Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) product line even as performance increases. Dubbed the 25x20 initiative, our goal is to increase the energy efficiency (measured by performance per watt) of our APU line by 25 times by 2020.

 

While supply chain and product goals are important, employees tend to get more engaged when we involve them in the programs. To support our employee’s environment motives outside of work, we have adopted a “life-style approach” to sustainability. We provide resources on green living opportunities such as discounts on solar panels, energy efficient lightbulbs, organic farm-food-delivery, carpool parking, transit discounts and electric vehicle changing stations. Our commute reduction efforts alone have Impressive results: Since 2009 commuting emissions have declined 41 percent with employees logging over 5.3 million miles of avoided commutes and saving over $1 million USD in fuel costs.

 

Find eco-heroes and tell their stories

Passionate employees who go above and beyond to conserve resources inside and outside of work can serve as positive role models for other employees. The trick is to find these eco-heroes and publicize their achievements. One way to do this is to start an eco-award. AMD recognizes our green leaders with “Environmental Excellence Awards” in serval categories including: Energizer (power saving), Trash Talker (waste reduction), and Water Warden (water conservation). Winners receive a custom engraved bamboo plaque presented by an executive and publicized throughout our global workforce. And each year, the competition for these awards gets tougher as more employees step up their eco-consciousness.

 

Hopefully some of these strategies will inspire you to keep the momentum of Earth Day alive, deepen the culture of sustainability and drive employee engagement. If you have other strategies that have worked well at your organization, please consider sharing in the comments below.

 

  Tim Mohin is Director of Corporate Responsibility for Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and the author of the book,

Changing Business from the Inside Out: A Treehugger's Guide to Working in Corporations (Greenleaf and Berrett-Kohler). Justin Murrill is the Global Sustainability Manager for Advanced Micro Devices. Their postings (and comments made in Mohin’s book) are thier own opinions and may not represent AMD's positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites, and references to third party trademarks, are provided for convenience and illustrative purposes only. Unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such links, and no third party endorsement of AMD or any of its products is implied. Follow Tim

@TimJMohin and check out AMD's latest

Corporate Responsibility Report.