Intel’s Ocotillo campus in Arizona earned Platinum level certification from the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS). Intel is the first semiconductor company in the United States to be AWS Certified and the second company in the country to earn the Platinum Certification, the highest level under this program. AWS is the only certification standard that focuses exclusively on water stewardship.
It offers a globally applicable framework for entities to understand their own water use and impacts, and to work collaboratively and transparently with others for sustainable water management within the wider watershed context. This Platinum Certification recognizes Intel’s dedication to continual improvement for sustainable resources management, and ongoing commitment to water conservation and restoration.
“Water is one of the most important ingredients in the semiconductor manufacturing process and a critical natural resource for the communities where we operate. That’s why Intel has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in innovative water conservation efforts, resulting in more than 3.3 billion gallons of water conserved in our Ocotillo operations in 2022. We are proud to have achieved one of the highest scored ever for AWS’ Platinum Level Certification across all regions and all industry sectors,” Keyvan Esfarjani, executive vice president, chief global operations officer and general manager of Manufacturing, Supply Chain and Operations at Intel Corporation, said.
Intel has been manufacturing in Arizona for more than 40 years, and minimizing its environmental footprint is a longstanding priority. In addition to investing in water conservation in its operations, Intel also collaborates on water initiatives within the community. This has enabled the Arizona site to return and restore more than 100% of its Arizona freshwater use to the community and local watersheds, achieving net positive water in 2021 and 2022.
At the Ocotillo campus, Intel’s 12-acre on-site water reclamation facility can treat up to 9.1 million gallons of water each day — this includes the ability to remove total dissolved solids, which is especially important in Arizona due to the salt concentration levels in the water. The facility enables Intel to reuse water within its on-site systems.
The campus is also home to the Ocotillo Brine Reduction Facility, a longstanding, innovative public-private partnership with the City of Chandler. This facility has the daily capacity to treat up to 2.8 million gallons of water that have been used in our manufacturing processes. This industrial water is reused by Intel, reducing the need for additional freshwater withdrawals from the city.
In addition to Intel’s on-site water conservation, the company has funded 21 nonprofit-led water restoration projects to support Arizona’s watersheds that, once fully implemented, will restore almost 2.2 billion gallons of water annually. Ten of these projects benefit the Colorado River watershed specifically, restoring 1.3 billion gallons of water in 2022 by focusing on river flow enhancement and restoration.
Further, in partnership with the National Forest Foundation, phase three of the lower Salt River Restoration project is focused on replacing invasive plants Arundo and Tamarix with native species and revegetating an area burned in a 2017 wildfire. Another example is the Verde Valley Irrigation Conversion Project. The Nature Conservancy is working with a farmer in the Verde Valley to convert from flood to drip irrigation, which is more efficient. This allows the farmer to successfully grow crops while conserving water and helping to keep the Verde River flowing.
About Intel in Arizona
Arizona is Intel’s U.S. manufacturing powerhouse. For more than 40 years, Arizona has been vital to Intel’s ability to create world-changing technology that improves the life of every person on the planet. Intel is not only investing to advance the ecosystem of innovation in the state, but is committed to protecting Arizona’s natural resources through its RISE strategy and sustainability efforts. See Intel Arizona’s most recent RISE Report for more details on Intel’s Arizona approach to sustainability and corporate responsibility.
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