Sustainability: Good Business

Texas Instruments makes more than calculators and they’ve found a clean, sustainable way of doing so. This 14 billion dollar company is known by most as the calculator maker, but Texas Instruments (TI) draws most revenues from its processors and analog chips which are inside a multitude of products that people and businesses use everyday. TI’s Richardson campus and many other facilities have taken on sustainable initiatives to increase efficiency and savings, but along with these savings comes positive results for the environment. Thanks to Paul Westbrook, Sustainable Development Manager TI, the motto “The Balance of People, Profit and the Planet” is an accurate description of the equilibrium accomplished at the Richardson campus. After teaming up with Rocky Mountain Institute and involving the higher up decision makers of the company, the company gathered together to form a strategy for sustainable initiatives.

Creating microchips is a very energy intensive process that involves temperature and humidity controls that would normally require ample amounts of power, water and money. Fortunately, TI has developed strategies to save in all three areas of consumption:

Energy Savings:

  • Exterior Shades
  • Day Lighting
  • Reflective Roof
  • Efficient Lighting (Motion Censored LED)
  • Water Turbine Powered Faucet
  • Waste Heat Recovery Cooling System

Water Efficiency:

  • Reusable Water from Pond
  • Meadow Restoration (Native Landscaping)
  •  Efficient Irrigation Strategies

Monetary Benefits:

  • Less than $1.5 million investment
  • 30% less cost than previous facilities
  • Saved more than $1 million in operating costs
  • Full operation savings of $4 million annually

Environmental Benefits:

  • 20% energy reduction
  • 40% water use reduction
  • 50% emissions reduction

These actions lead to a LEED Gold certification of the TI office building and the first LEED Gold certified FAB (microchip production facility). The company has also decided to register all new major projects with LEED and integrate existing facilities with Best Practice Standards. TI is also providing vans for vanpools, subsidized DART passes, waste recycling programs and releasing corporate citizenship reports.

Along with internal sustainability, TI is also improving products to reduce operating energy for the consumer as well. Now it is companies like this that will be around for a long time to come. As businesses around the world embrace sustainability and change for the better, those refusing to change will fall by the way side. Eventually investors and consumers will recognize the advantages of purchasing and contributing to sustainable businesses. Efficiency increases productiveness, high productivity leads to growing profits. As Paul Westbrook summed up, “Sustainability is darn good business if you do it well.”


Paul Westbrook – Sustainable Development Manager of Texas Instruments

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