AMD & ESG: Purpose-Driven Approach to High-Performance Computing

by Susan Moore
Jan 17, 2022 12:25 PM ET
Corporate Responsibility @ AMD

I see the power of resiliency, hope and common vision in our world today. Events have reinforced the important role of businesses in contributing toward a more inclusive and sustainable world through environmental, social and governance (ESG) efforts.

Over the past year at AMD, we engaged our stakeholders to listen to their input and refresh our strategic focus areas in ESG - driving value for our employees, customers, suppliers, shareholders and communities. As a result, across our business we have new priorities and goals in digital impact; environmental stewardship; supply chain responsibility; and diversity, belonging and inclusion.

Through our focus on digital impact, and with the talents of our employees and resources, we aim to help create a better future for people worldwide who design, make and use our products. In part, we concentrate on equity for underrepresented groups in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education through AMD-powered student learning labs and community involvement where our employees live and work.

In 2020, AMD created the AMD COVID-19 High-Performance Computing (HPC) Fund and donated high-performance systems powered by AMD EPYC™ CPUs and AMD Instinct™ GPUs to key research institutions around the world. With 12 petaflops of total supercomputing capacity donated, the combined compute capacity would rank among the fastest supercomputers in the world.

In addition to the HPC Fund, our company has responded to the pandemic with increased support for humanitarian relief, medical aid and other needs in site communities worldwide. We have also offered matching gift programs multiplying our employees’ generosity. Through our combined COVID-19 response efforts, AMD has provided more than $26 million USD to universities, research institutes and community organizations, including donations of technology, personal protective equipment, and corporate and employee giving (as of June 2021).

We are mindful of environmental stewardship through our products, operations and supply chain, as well. AMD exceeded key environmental milestones set in 2014, including the bold “25x20” goal to deliver at least 25 times more energy efficiency by 2020 in our mobile device processors. Our achievements garnered AMD in 2020 a spot in Fortune’s Change the World list and the Compass Award in Innovation from the Responsible Business Alliance. We also reduced absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from our operations (scope 1 and 2) by 38 percent from 2014 to 2020 – well ahead of our 20 percent goal. In our supply chain, we met three out of five environmental, health and safety goals, falling just short on electricity use and direct GHG emissions targets due to the increasing complexities of making AMD silicon wafers.

Looking ahead, AMD has set multiple new goals for 2025 and beyond to drive meaningful impact across our value chain. For instance, we are focused on sustainability in data centers and have set a new 30x energy efficiency goal for our CPUs and GPU accelerators powering servers in the rapidly growing areas of Artificial Intelligence (AI) training and High-Performance Computing (HPC) applications. We also have set goals for science-based GHG reductions in our operations and for even greater engagement with our suppliers on reducing negative environmental impact and maintaining safe, respectful workplace conditions.

Additionally, by 2025 we aim to benefit 100 million people through AMD and AMD Foundation philanthropy and partnerships that enable STEM education, scientific research and the workforce of the future.

We continue to deepen ESG performance and transparency into our business. For 2021, increased hiring of underrepresented groups is a component of AMD’s strategic metrics and milestones. We are also implementing increased formal oversight of ESG at our Board and executive levels. Our next chapter includes welcoming Xilinx as part of the AMD team, upon final regulatory approvals and deal closing, and then reassessing our collective ESG opportunities and goals.

I thank AMD employees for their resiliency and commitment in meeting customer needs while supporting the well-being of our workforce, supply chain and local communities. I am inspired by the far-reaching potential of AMD technologies to power high-performance computing solutions that help solve global challenges today and in the future.

I invite you to read our 26th annual, AMD 2020-21 Corporate Responsibility Report to learn more about our company’s culture, performance and goals.

Susan Moore is AMD Corporate Vice President of Corporate Responsibility and International Government Affairs. She is former chairwoman of Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) and serves on the boards of ITI and Responsible Business Alliance.