Skip to content

PC Sustainability: Lifecycle, Carbon Emissions, and Second Life | Intel Technology

Play Video

What would convince you to buy a more sustainable PC?

In this InTechnology video, Tom and Camille talk with Gokul Subramaniam, Vice President and General Manager of Intel Client Platforms and Systems. They get into sustainability throughout a PC’s entire lifecycle, how PC manufacturers and consumers can better adopt sustainability practices, and the importance of giving devices a second life.

Sustainability throughout the PC Lifecycle

Similar to living organisms, PCs have their own lifecycle. They are manufactured, bought and used by consumers, and eventually face an end of life when parts of the PC or the entire device no longer work properly. At every stage, there are carbon emissions to consider. We can reduce carbon footprints from PCs by prioritizing sustainability throughout the lifecycle.

Manufacturers in particular can use less carbon in PC motherboards by building with recyclable and recycled materials, using simply fewer materials, and opting for more conflict-free minerals. There are also new technologies like low-temperature soldering, which reduces the energy required in the PCB manufacturing process. Reducing energy consumption is just as important as using more environmentally friendly materials.

Adopting Sustainability for Manufacturers and Consumers

Consumers need to find sustainability in PCs an attractive option, not just a nice bonus. Gokul believes the tide is already turning for environmentally conscious consumers, comparing the popularity of reusable steel water bottles over plastic single-use bottles in recent years. One way manufacturers can entice sustainability-minded consumers to purchase their PCs is to adopt internationally recognized eco-labels like EPEAT, ErP Lot3, TCO, and CEC. More emphasis can also be put on making the exteriors and interiors of devices equally sustainable.

Giving PCs a Second Life

There’s more to sustainability than just buying more sustainable brand-new devices. Gokul anticipates a large growing market for giving PCs a second life. This includes making devices more modular so certain parts can be replaced over time without needing to get rid of a device, as well as consumers preferring to buy refurbished rather than new tech. The second-life market may look similar to Carfax today, with the ability to run reports on used and refurbished tech for sale. There is also the philanthropic side of donating tech no longer in use to be refurbished for others who can’t afford the latest devices.

Gokul Subramaniam, Vice President and General Manager of Intel Client Platforms and Systems

Gokul Subramaniam PC sustainability carbon footprint

Gokul Subramaniam is an internationally recognized leader in the technology, engineering, and product development industries. He has been at Intel since 2012 and brings with him more than twenty years of experience. Beyond his current role as VP and GM of Intel Client Platforms and Systems, Gokul is also the Client Sustainability Executive Sponsor at Intel. He has an M.S. in Computer Science and Engineering from The University of Texas at Arlington, and he has completed the Executive Program in General Management from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Check it out. For more information, previous podcasts, and full versions, visit our homepage.

To read more about cybersecurity topics, visit our blog.

#sustainability #PCsustainability #carbonfootprint

The views and opinions expressed are those of the guests and author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Intel Corporation.


If you are interested in emerging threats, new technologies, or best tips and practices in cybersecurity, please follow the InTechnology podcast on your favorite podcast platforms: Apple Podcast and Spotify.

Follow our hosts Tom Garrison @tommgarrison and Camille @morhardt.

Learn more about Intel Cybersecurity and Intel Compute Life Cycle (CLA).