Freescale, the chip company formerly known at Motorola Semiconductor, wants to cut its carbon footprint by 50 percent by 2015 from a 2008 baseline and recycle 90 percent of its waste. It will also try to reduce water consumption by 50 percent – chip companies actually end up using a lot of water in their fabrication facilities.

The goals come on top of an earlier goal to reduce the carbon footprint by 40 percent in 2010 from a 2001 baseline. Freescale recently passed that by reducing emissions 42 percent under that measurement. It has also conserved around 170 million gallons of water. Like Samsung, Freescale has also begun the process of substituting chemicals with a high greenhouse gas profile with ones that emit fewer harmful emissions. It's not an easy process – chip making remains notoriously precise and complex – but so far companies seem to be making progress. Most of the greenhouse gases associated with electronics companies actually get emitted indirectly: far more emissions are produced by customers using their products than are produced at the factory. But every bit helps and regulations will require these companies to change existing practices.

Like a lot of chip companies, and chip equipment makers, Freescale hopes to see much of its future growth come from the green market. The company sells controllers and other devices for automotive manufacturers and it's a big player in home-networking components.