New Horizons for Chip Design


Advancing Sustainability Through Emissions Reduction and Low-Power Computing

Carbon Neutrality, Emissions Reductions, Energy Efficiency

By Nell Triplett, Corporate Affairs Manager

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2020 is on track to be the second warmest year on record, just after 2019. In addition, this year has the unfavorable distinction of having the worst wildfire season in Australia and the West Coast of the U.S. Extreme weather events such as severe storms, extended droughts and heat waves, and flooding have made headlines around the globe. The effects of climate change are indisputably tangible and universal, and we will no doubt remember this inflection point for how we respond to combat the rise in emissions. While the U.S. formally withdrew from the Paris Climate Agreement last month, businesses worldwide are instead stepping up to take action at the urging of the world’s climate experts.

At Synopsys, there is a commitment at the highest level of the company for taking responsibility for environmental impacts. To take a leadership role and make a much larger positive impact on the world around us, we’ve committed to climate action through carbon neutrality achievement and emissions reduction for our direct operations.

For the second consecutive year, Synopsys has achieved CarbonNeutral® certification across our global operations, offsetting roughly 90,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent this year. This year, the company has pledged to reduce its direct greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2024 (compared to our 2018 baseline). Both of these goals are part of our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) commitment to an environmentally sustainable future, an effort driven top-down by our leadership and bottom-up through employee engagement efforts. In 2019, we released our first CSR Report, which details how Synopsys’ values translate into action for the common good.

Carbon Neutrality Now While Driving Down Emissions

Synopsys’ annual greenhouse gas emissions accounting is conducted according to the GHG Protocol, the world’s most widely used greenhouse gas accounting standards. The carbon neutral initiative follows the CarbonNeutral Protocol, a detailed framework for the design and implementation of a carbon neutral program for business. Through a combination of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) and offset projects, we neutralize our company emissions across Scopes 1, 2, and 3 to net zero in accordance with the Protocol. Our customized portfolio of high-quality, verifiable RECs align geographically with our largest operations. Synopsys finances offset projects, including solar in India, biodigesters in India, and reforestation in California. All offsets are verified to an internationally recognized carbon accounting standard. Our operations span 116 offices and more than 15,000 employees worldwide.

We believe our carbon neutrality underscores the important role of business in leading and financing the global transformation to a low-carbon economy. In addition to taking responsibility for our carbon footprint today, we know we need to continue implementing energy-efficiency best practices and enable new renewable energy to be introduced to the grid. Through both actions, we can deliver on our 25% emissions reduction target announced earlier this year.

Our 25% emissions reduction target is aligned with the goal to keep global temperature rise within 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. This goal is based on the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Through careful monitoring of energy use across global operations and continued efforts to expand our portfolio of LEED-certified buildings, Synopsys will continue to identify areas of opportunity for energy efficiency. As we expand as a company, the decarbonization of our data centers will be key.

The urgency of the challenge at hand requires more than what has been outlined. Synopsys’s total environmental footprint also includes indirect emissions, such as those stemming from purchased goods and services that we are still working to build out. We know all eyes in the world of sustainability are focused on supply chain engagement, which is precisely our next area of focus.

Lowering Power of SoCs for Better Sustainability

Synopsys’ commitment to environmental sustainability extends to our technologies, as we understand the role of electronics in rising energy consumption. For example, we’ve formed a Low Power Taskforce to explore and recommend areas of sustainable differentiation in low-power system-on-chip (SoC) design. Key focus areas include enabling at least a 25% reduction in power for SoCs over the solutions and flows currently used by our customers. To that end, Synopsys offers a software-driven low-power flow that spans from software to silicon. The comprehensive platform includes solutions for different stages of SoC design: architecture exploration, block power exploration, SoC power exploration, and SoC power analysis and optimization.

While the electronic devices in our lives continue to get smarter thanks to engineering ingenuity and sophisticated technologies, our future isn’t so smart if it isn’t sustainable, fair, and secure. This makes it imperative for Synopsys to do our part to minimize our carbon footprint, enable our customers to design more efficient chips, and make a positive impact on our world.

In Case You Missed It

Catch up on previous blog posts related to low-power technologies: