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Tim Mohin: Reflection on AMD Corporate Responsibility Challenges and Progress in 2013

Tim MohinIf you are like me, it’s hard to believe how fast 2013 has gone by. As we wrap up another year within AMD’s corporate responsibility department, it is a good time to reflect on some of the events that characterized this year, what we are doing now, and what you can expect from us going forward.

2013 in review:
The rapidly changing market for IT products led to challenging business conditions in early 2013, and with that came some tough but necessary reductions in our corporate responsibility programs. We took a hard look at these programs in light of the current business realities and realized that by being even more focused on our priorities we could still achieve our corporate responsibility objectives. I published a blog post outlining our laser-focused approach – now let’s take a look at how we executed:

  • All AMD environmental goals are on track or ahead of schedule;
  • AMD’s suppliers continued to make progress toward their sustainability goals and full compliance with our code of conduct;
  • We briefed AMD’s executive team and board of directors on corporate responsibility;
  • AMD refreshed its brand with corporate responsibility as a key theme;
  • We issued our 18th consecutive annual corporate responsibility report with enough information to meet application level “A” in the Global Reporting Initiative. To make this information more accessible, we also issued a summary magazine, a tablet application and customized the content for Malaysia, Greater China and Brazil;
  • We continued our dialogue with our external stakeholder advisory panel and held a webinar for socially responsible investors;
  • AMD’s programs continued to be recognized ahead of much larger companies: including the 100 Best Corporate Citizens List, the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, and others;
  • AMD was elected to Chair the board of the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) which continues to grow and positively impact the electronics industry;
  • For the second year, AMD organized the “AMD Green Army” event at the South by Southwest ECO conference; and
  • We continued to make progress on our “conflict minerals” implementation program.

Read the entire blog

Conflict Minerals: Reporting template with smelter list available on website.

Hand holding sample of minerals The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is the scene of massive human tragedy – profits from mining and trading of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold (so called, conflict minerals) have fueled deadly conflicts, causing millions of deaths and widespread human rights abuses. In 2010, a new law was enacted in the United States requiring companies traded on U.S. stock exchanges to disclose the measures they have taken to identify these conflict minerals in their products.

AMD has taken many steps to help break the link between the trade in minerals and ongoing conflict. We have a leadership role in developing consensus policies and have worked with a range of stakeholders including the Enough Project, The Responsible Sourcing Coalition, and the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) conflict free sourcing program. Other actions undertaken included:

  • Co-chaired the only multi-stakeholder group focused on conflict minerals policy. Comments from this group influenced the final SEC rule.
  • Testified at the SEC roundtable leading up to the final rule as one of the only industry representatives.
  • Co-founded the Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade and has engaged with senior State Department Officials to urge action.
  • Began due diligence measures in our supply chain in 2011 – before the SEC rule was finalized.
  • Chairs the EICC and has been an active leader in supporting and driving the EICC Conflict Free Sourcing Initiative (CFSI).

As part of our increasing transparency, AMD’s completed conflict minerals reporting template is now available on our website. This template includes the tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold smelters reported by our suppliers and based on our due diligence efforts. The template, as well as our conflict minerals policy can be viewed here.

New Awards and Rankings

Since our 2012/2013 Corporate Responsibility report was published earlier this year, AMD is proud to have received several awards in local communities and been ranked along with the most sustainable companies in the world.

Corporate Responsibility Prime - Rated by Oekom ResearchEPA Green Power PartnerMember of Dow Jones Sustainability Indicies - In Collaboration with RobecoSAM

Other recent awards/listings:

  • US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Top 30 Tech & Telecom List for green power use.
  • AMD named for a third time to the Thomas Reuters Top 100 Global Innovators list.
  • Environmental Responsibility Award, Austin Chamber of Commerce, TX, US.
  • Corporate Counsel Pro Bono Award, Texas Access to Justice Commission. Awarded to AMD’s Robert Rodriguez, Senior Corporate Council.

AMD Changing the Game: More than 213,000 students reached in 7 countries

If this past year has taught us anything, it is that strategic investments made in high value programs, the right partners and committed employees can continue to produce positive results even when corporate budgets decline. AMD has remained committed to STEM education through AMD Changing the Game, our signature program designed to inspire youth to learn STEM skills through the creation of video games with social content. Since its conception, the program has impacted over 213,000 students globally. Here are some examples of our employees and partners in action:

AMD Kids Development CampAMD Kids Game Development Camp – This is a great example of employee dedication yielding impressive results. AMD Kids Game Development Camp is a summer camp sponsored by AMD for the third consecutive year in partnership with York University. With corporate spending cuts threatening AMD’s participation, AMD’s Markham site management stepped in to fill the gap with funds and employees. The result was a very successful event with over 30 students creating their own computer games while receiving hands-on training in technical computer skills. The excitement and talent of the kids was evident during their visit to the AMD office in Markham Ontario Canada. The kids had an opportunity to demonstrate their games, mingle with AMD employees and learn about STEM related careers.

“The AMD camp was a rare chance for girls like me to realize a passion for gaming and pursue what I love, boosting me up farther than I could have ever have imagined. I now have the skills, confidence and determination to pursue my dream job.”
Thadchayani Kupendiran, Student participating in Kids Game Development Camp at York

Read the full story

Scalable Game Design - Brazil – Scalable Game Design-Brazil is a program designed to encourage computational thinking and STEM skills in Brazilian schools through the creation of games and simulations using AgentSheets. In their very first lesson, students learn to make their own simple game, and then continue to learn about topics such as Artificial Intelligence to make complex games and computational science applications. There are currently 3 pilot programs in Rio de Janeiro schools: COLUNI, Rio de Janeiro Federal University application school, based on Niteroi, Escola Nova and The American School of Rio de Janeiro. Over 100 students are learning game design and computer skills through this program.

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Innovation in Education: AMD and HP partner to provide notebooks for The Environmental School Project

Person using a laptop in the woodsThe cities of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows in British Columbia, Canada make up School District 42. Since 2008, public educators there have been working to complement their conventional school system with a revolutionary approach to teaching—one that doesn’t rely on desks, chairs, blackboards, or even a classroom. The concept is called placed-based education in which learning is experiential and happens in context. That is the idea behind The Environmental School Project launched in 2011, with a current enrollment of 88 students from grades K-7.

We do not have a school or a classroom. We are outside in the woods or in different places 99% of the year. Our classroom is the park or the space in which we are in the moment. That’s what’s really important to us. As much of the curriculum as possible is mixed in with the themes, projects, and activities that we’re doing within the different places.”
—Clayton Maitland, Principal of The Environmental School Project

Outdated technology, limited budgets
While the Environmental School Project differs in many ways from other public schools, it faces many of the exact same challenges in the current era—budget cuts, limited resources, and out-dated materials. Their aging computing technologies were especially problematic and they needed new tools. Principal Maitland collaborated with HP and AMD on a solution.

The right tool for the job
Based on how, why, and (most notably) where the students would be using their computers, the right tool was the HP 3115m notebook featuring an AMD Dual-Core 4 E-3005 APU and an AMD Radeon™ HD 6310M GPU. A great choice for students, these notebook systems provide rugged performance and power efficiency with up to 11.5 hours of battery life per charge, features critical for an outdoor environment and limited access to power outlets.

Read our regional Corporate Responsibility ReportsChina BrazilMalaysia

Partners in 21st century education
HP and AMD are proud to support the Environmental School Project by providing its students with the technological tools they need.

Read the case study

A Month of Giving Back: AMD Global Volunteer Month Inspires Hundreds of Employees to Get Involved

The end of October marked the conclusion of the fourth annual AMD Global Volunteer Month and even with fewer employees and modest charitable dollars, AMDers continue to support volunteer activities that make our communities a better place to live and work.

This year’s activities included working with Habitat for Humanity to build homes for the less fortunate, picking up hundreds of pounds of trash from various beaches, shorelines, rivers and parks, packing and distributing over 40,000 pounds of food to feed the hungry, donating hundreds of pints of blood around the globe, and visiting orphanages and the elderly in India and China.

In total, more than 500 AMDers in 15 global communities volunteered over 1,500 hours during the month of October at 42 charitable events.

Read more about AMD's Volunteerism

AMD’s Green Army: Leveraging Conferences & Events for Social Impact

AMD's Green Army Events and conferences that explore solutions to our most pressing social and environmental challenges can be outstanding sources of information and inspiration. With many minds collaborating on innovative solutions, complete with break-out sessions and networking events, what could be missing?

One answer: action. Literally rolling up our sleeves and doing something that benefits the causes or social issues being explored. Action is the conduit that connects our inspirational lofty-thinking at these events with the spirit of accomplishment and real social impact.

So, how can we spark this sort of action? Last year at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Eco Conference – where around 3,000 people interested in sustainability gathered to discuss how to protect and improve our planet – AMD debuted our scalable approach to integrate action-based volunteer events into conferences. The “AMD Green Army” volunteer event brought together hundreds of conference attendees and local employees with local non-profits to make new connections while enhancing Austin’s urban landscape.

After last year’s success, we decided to host our second annual “AMD Green Army” volunteer event at SXSW Eco. Together these events convened over 250 people from the conference and nearby businesses, universities, and the general public to clean up and revitalize areas of the city. Volunteers planted trees, removed 165 bags of trash from creeks and rivers, made 5,000 “seed-balls” for a fire devastated region and stored 9,000 native tree seeds for threatened species.

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World’s First 3-D Structural View of the Human Ribosome

3D Stuctural View of the Human Ribosome AMD’s SeaMicro servers aided researchers at The Gene Center of the University of Munich (Ludwig Maximilians University, or LMU) in creating the world’s first 3-D image of the human ribosome by combining more than 800,000 images. The findings advance the understanding of how bacteria ribosomes can be broken down without harming human ribosomes, similar to the operation of some antibiotics. This could lead to the discovery of new drugs that are more effective and personalized to a person’s genetic profile.

The Gene Center selected SeaMicro servers for their power efficiency, integration and supercomputer-like performance at a fraction of the cost of alternative solutions. A single person deployed the system, which contains 128 servers and 512 computing cores, in just two days. The deployment has run flawlessly and improved the Gene Center’s other bioinformatics services such as protein homology searches, which help to understand unknown proteins.

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