Friday, May 22, 2009

What's your ripple ? Intel can help ...

Intel, the silicon giant in every pc, has just published their 2008 CR report. 108 pages of completely hyperlinked and totally-a-pleasure- to-navigate PDF. Haven't read it yet. AHA! so what are you doing blogging about it ? i hear you ask. Well, i have quite a backlog of reports to review (see for this year's reviews) (plug!), so i thought i would share one teeny weeny insight from the briefest of peeps into Intel's world of CR. Impacts. That's what CR is all about. Understanding impacts and taking responsibility for them.

Now, my world is simple. I divide impacts into two types: direct impacts and indirect impacts. Most reporting Companies report on direct impacts, a few on indirect impacts. But lo-and-behold, Intel reports on FOUR impacts.

  • Direct impacts -defined as : Intel sells products, provides above-average wages to employees, and pays taxes.
  • Indirect impacts - defined as: Intel pays suppliers and creates business for resellers, who in turn generate employment.
  • Induced impacts - defined as : Consumer spending by Intel employees and supplier and partner employees stimulates additional economic activity.
  • Productivity Impacts - defined as : The use of Intel products and our technology leadership result in productivity gains in the economy.

This is the model Intel uses to calculate the economic ripple effect of the producion of a product or service. A study commissioned by Intel to review their ripple showed as follows:

"...... between 2001 and 2007, Intel contributed $758 billion to the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Of this total, $458 billion was stimulated by Intel’s operations and $300 billion was attributable to our productivity-based impact. Intel’s presence resulted in more than 823,000 U.S. jobs in 2007, including 45,600 direct jobs, 151,000 workers employed by Intel business partners, and 627,000 indirect jobs resulting from consumer spending by Intel employees and Intel’s business partners." Pretty big numbers, eh ? And great reporting. Thumbs up to Intel.

I would recommend you to take a little ripple-review of the Intel report, it's out there in a league all of its own, i think. Though i still haven't read the rest of it yet, i did just ripple over to the community section to see if there is a social ripple calculation, but not yet, apparently. Despite some quite advanced SROI (social return on investment) calculation methodologies available, Intel's community reporting is not quite rippling, it's about inputs not outputs and doesn't got for gold with an attempt at reporting outcomes. Still ... there is room for optimism, right ? I am sure Intel will keep on rippling.

Anyway, those of you who follow my blog know that i am very fond of ripples - usually they come in the form of a chocolate flavor swirl in the midst of a big blob of ice cream. However, in this case, I will defer to the real ripple of the day and congratulate Intel on their new report. OK. Let's do both. Bring on the Chunky Monkey.

elaine cohen is the joint CEO of BeyondBusiness, a leading reporting and social-environmental consulting firm based in Israel. Visit our website at:

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