As a “fabless” company, NVIDIA relies on partners to manufacture our products. For that reason, our campus operations represent a significant opportunity for us to decrease our greenhouse gas emissions and waste. We do this through:
- Increasing energy efficiency in our buildings
- Increasing computing and data-center efficiency
- Reducing waste tonnage to landfills
- Promotion of alternative options
Increasing Energy Efficiency
In 2011, NVIDIA’s environmental management team re-evaluated the commitments we made through Climate Leaders
, a program created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to work with companies to develop comprehensive climate-change strategies. As part of Climate Leaders, we’ve tracked Scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas emissions in our U.S. operations. Although the EPA announced in 2010 that it was discontinuing the program, we plan to continue pursuing the goals we set in 2007 and achieve all four by the end of 2012. This year, we will begin determining our next set of goals around energy usage and data centers.
In 2011, we achieved two of our Climate Leaders goals: reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 9 percent per square foot of non-data center space and surpassing our solid waste reduction goal of 65 percent diversion, reaching 80 percent diversion.
A significant accomplishment in 2011 included keeping our Santa Clara campus energy usage flat, despite a 10 percent increase in hiring:
In addition to the goals listed in the Environment section, we took these additional measures in 2011:
- Launched Phase 1 of Lab Energy Analysis in 10 of our high-energy use labs to determine efficiency opportunities (video which highlights examples of our success).
- Finalized rollout of Hara greenhouse gas tracking and management system and began using the data modeled through this system to respond to environmental, social and governance questionnaires, including those from Bloomberg, Trucost and Sustainalytics.
- Improved local, sustainable food service options with partner Aramark to implement in our Santa Clara cafeteria. One hundred percent of our meats comply with the USDA’s Never Ever program, which means the meats are never subjected to antibiotics or growth hormones. As well, we improved the percentage of our produce and meat being sourced locally, from 80 percent to 90 percent. We continue to adhere to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program.
- Continued our partnership with nonprofit Hopelink to enable employees to recycle their used clothing, bedding and shoes. In 2011, Santa Clara employees donated more than 11,000 pounds of clothing and household items.
- Hosted an annual Earth Day event to create awareness among employees about how they can be more environmentally aware at work and home. Participation increased 17 percent, from 600 to 700 employees in Santa Clara, in 2010.
We’ve implemented the following at our Santa Clara headquarters:
- Post Yearly Environmental Goals for Employees
- Regular Water and Energy Communications*
- Water Reduction Program*
- Energy Reducing Tools*
- Greening our annual conference (GTC)
- Purchase Local Meats/Produce for Cafeteria
- Conference Room Light Management*
- Low Flow Water Tools
- Green Purchasing Policy*
- Transportation Alternatives*
- Green Suggestion Box*
* Items with an asterisk are also implemented in other NVIDIA offices. (To learn more about these initiatives in detail, read our 2009 report
Green Features of NVIDIA's Austin, Texas Campus
- Low-VOC sealers, adhesives, glues, sealants, primers and paint
- Regionally sourced building materials
- Aluminum frames with >25% recycled content
- Forest Stewardship Council certified wood doors
- Gypsum board and acoustic tiles feature recycled content
- Interface Cool Carpet™
- Programmed and LED Lighting
- Green GuardSM certified furniture
Increasing Computing and Data Center Efficiency
Improving data-center efficiency is a core pillar of our energy and emissions reduction efforts.
In 2011, our data center team took on management of the energy usage for one of our larger U.S. data centers (a recent Uptime Institute report stated that less than 20 percent of IT departments are responsible for their companies’ energy bills). NVIDIA’s data center team believes that by directly managing the energy expenditures related to the data center, they would be better positioned to reduce overall energy usage.
In early 2011, we upgraded 1,958 of the slowest systems in our data centers with 433 more energy-efficient systems. We’re receiving a 500KW constant reduction (7,884,000 kWh/year) and estimate a savings of $1 million (a 12 percent internal rate of return) and 3,700 metric tons of C02 (similar to removing 733 passenger cars from the road). In addition, we were able to start several of the projects we plan to complete in 2011 (see goals), such as our virtual machine implementation and reduction of our printer fleet.
We also improved the process by which we measure compute efficiency of servers before placing them in our data centers. Some elements of the process include:
- Use power calculators
- Measure cost of power and cooling
- Buy fewer, faster servers
- Choose fewer, denser multicore components
- Consider low-power components
- Employ hot and cold aisles
See the 2011 goals/progress and 2012 targeted goals for a snapshot of activities underway and completed. In 2012, we will partner with our local energy provider for a data center energy optimization project to target at least 1 million Kwh reductions in energy through improved cooling and technology deployments.
Efforts taken on our Santa Clara campus to encourage the usage of public transportation and ride sharing include:
- WageWorks: Allows employees to purchase transit passes with pretax dollars
- Free daily shuttle services from NVIDIA to ACE Train/Caltrans
- Promote participation in the Rideshare 511 RideMatch service and Bike Mapper
- Bicycling resources: Bike lockers/racks are available throughout the campus
- Bike trail from NVIDIA to local ACE
Reducing Waste Tonnage to Landfills
In mid-2009, we implemented a composting program at our Santa Clara campus. Within one quarter we were able to move our waste diversion rate from 38 percent to 76 percent. We reached our 2010 goal to divert 80 percent of our waste from landfill by the year’s second quarter. Our goal for 2012 is to divert 90 percent of our waste from reaching landfills.
Our efforts to reduce e-waste involve recycling old computers. NVIDIA is proud to be a participant in the e-Stewards Enterprise program, which recognizes companies, institutions and governments that commit to the most responsible electronic waste recycling practices. Wherever possible, NVIDIA chooses to use e-Stewards certified recyclers. This ensures that our e-waste is managed safely and that it does not contribute to the global toxic waste crisis. All our U.S. recyclers undergo auditing and performance requirements that are outlined in the e-Stewards program guides and are consistent with NVIDIA’s auditing requirements for well-organized and safe facilities. In 2011, we sent more than 51 tons of electronics waste to e-Stewards-certified recyclers.