Over the years, “sustainable development” has become one of the core concepts for the long-term development of all walks of life. Different industries have different understandings of sustainable development. The economy needs sustainable development, the environment needs sustainable development, and the society needs sustainable development… … STMicroelectronics (ST), one of the leaders in the semiconductor industry, has also taken the lead in its sustainable development strategy. Since its establishment in 1987, it has had a deep-rooted insistence on sustainable development.
“ST’s philosophy is to create technology in a sustainable way for a sustainable world, which has been embedded in our business model and corporate culture for over 30 years since our founding in 1987, our innovative technologies enable our customers to respond to a variety of environments and societies Challenges.” Regarding the commitment to sustainable development, Jean-Louis CHAMPSEIX, Vice President of STMicroelectronics and Head of Corporate Sustainability, gave a detailed sharing and interpretation at a recent media conference.
ST was one of the first five companies to join the Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition (later renamed the Responsible Business Coalition) and signed the UN Global Compact in 2000. For the past 25 years, ST has maintained a long-term commitment to publicize its sustainability goals and annual performance results, which was recently updated through a sustainability charter. ST’s sustainable development strategy covers a wide range, which Jean-Louis CHAMPSEIX roughly boils down to three elements: creating technology for a sustainable world in a sustainable way, putting people first, and protecting the environment.
ST’s long-term sustainability commitment roadmap (Source: ST Company)
Creating technology for a sustainable world
As a leading company in the semiconductor industry, technology and product innovation is its nature, and it also nourishes the soil for sustainable development. ST creates technology for a sustainable world from three fronts: sustaining profitable growth through innovation and strong R&D investment; having a leading product portfolio to address the world’s sustainability challenges; and having a unique product lifecycle approach to designing and producing responsibly products, from responsibly sourced to end-of-life.
Behind the product innovation, ST’s more than 8,000 technical R&D and product designers hold about 18,000 patents, and the number of patents continues to rise with more than 500 new applications every year. At the same time, the investment of R&D funds provides conditions for the continuous innovation of products. Last year, the R&D funds invested by ST accounted for about 15% of the revenue, and it will increase efforts this year. ST has also set up a number of start-up cooperation centers, and there are plans for start-up companies to settle in ST venues. In addition, ST continues to strengthen its position as an innovation leader by establishing and maintaining R&D partnerships with more than 140 prestigious universities around the world.
ST accelerates society’s transition to green, safe and smart systems with its leading product portfolio. In the field of smart travel, ST provides silicon carbide devices for electric vehicles and charging stations, as well as advanced battery management products, etc., to help automakers produce safer, greener and more intelligent vehicles; in the field of power and energy, ST’s The STSPIN32 plug-and-play development board accelerates wireless power tool design, as well as high-power IPM modules for industrial and automotive, digital power controllers for interleaved boost PFC, and ultra-low-power STM32 microcontrollers and their The digital power ecosystem helps to improve energy efficiency in an all-round way and supports the application of renewable energy; in terms of smart cities, ST uses a large number of ultra-low-power product technologies, especially microcontrollers and ASIC chips, to enable cities, homes and Office just got smarter.
ST offers unique responsible products (Source: ST Company)
10 years ago, ST was the first in the semiconductor industry to propose that the product should be developed in accordance with the principle of sustainable development throughout the product life cycle, and publicly explain how to enable responsible procurement, product eco-design, and responsibility throughout the product life cycle. Responsible advanced manufacturing processes, strive for responsible use of products, and work with customers to address end-of-life issues. The goal is for at least 50% of new products to be certified by the Sustainable Technology Program and subject to external third-party audits; by 2025, responsible product revenue will triple from 2016; by 2027, responsible product revenue will be accounted for at least 33%. In 2020, more than 63% of ST’s new products were certified under the program.
The complete footprint of different types of products can be seen on the ST website (Image source: ST Company)
Over the years, all ST product designs have systematically achieved reporting transparency.
People-oriented means that ST is separated from its identity as a semiconductor company and has more social responsibility. This is a characteristic of ST that is different from other multinational companies. Involves employee health and safety, diversity and engagement.
ST believes that people should be put first, and people are also the driving force of sustainable development. For many years, ST has been leading the way in occupational safety. Since 2002, ST’s recordable accident rate has decreased by more than 85%. In 2020, the recordable accident rate of work-related injuries and occupational diseases dropped to a low level of 0.15% (ST’s 2025 target is to achieve a recordable accident rate of 0.15%, including contractors), and ST completed the task five years ahead of schedule. ST’s recordable accident rate will be even lower in 2021, thanks to the stringent measures taken on the behaviour of all personnel, including managers and employees.
Diversity and Inclusion at ST (Source: ST Company)
ST is a naturally diversified company. It was established in 1987 by the merger of Italian SGS company and French Thomson company. There are as many as 100 nationalities of all employees of the company, and no one nationality accounts for more than 25%. At the same time, the proportion of female employees in the company is 34%, and the equal pay rate of male and female employees is 99.6%, but ST is not satisfied with this data, but hopes that the equal pay rate of male and female employees in the entire company will reach 100%.
When it comes to employee experience, ST’s goal is to provide employees with the best possible work experience across all locations. ST performs true empowerment management while also committed to sustainable development. ST’s public report, which monitors and publishes employee engagement scores every year, shows that 81% of employees recommend ST as a good place to work, and 85% of employees are proud to work at ST.
When it comes to sustainable development, it is of course inseparable from environmental protection, and when it comes to environmental protection, we have to talk about the recent hot “dual carbon” plan. In response to the “double carbon” call, various companies have also released their own “double carbon” goals. For ST, which is ahead, carbon peaking has become history. At the end of 2020, ST also released carbon neutrality goals. Details, pledge to be carbon neutral by 2027.
ST carbon neutrality target (Image source: ST Company)
ST is a unique leader in the carbon reduction movement, with a 2027 commitment to carbon neutrality much earlier than required by local regulations, including direct emissions (PFC gases generated during semiconductor production, known as Scope 1 ”), indirect emissions (related to energy consumption, referred to as “Scope 2”), and transportation emissions (product transportation, business travel, employee commuting, referred to as “Scope 3”). Meet the 1.5°C warming limit advocated by SBTi by 2025. ST plans to have zero indirect emissions related to electricity by the end of 2026 and use 100% renewable energy; by 2027 it will become a semiconductor company using renewable energy.
In addition to direct and indirect emissions, ST Carbon Neutral also includes scope 3 (i.e. transportation emissions), which includes emissions from product transportation and employee travel and commuting. For example: ST will provide employees with electric mobility tools, add charging sockets in the parking lot, and support employees to use electric vehicles, but this will increase the annual electricity consumption. “Although adopting new technologies will put a huge burden on us, such as using more water, electricity and chemicals. But at the end of the day, we have significantly improved the quality of life of our customers. Even if it brought us more challenges , we also know how to solve challenges. We are committed to our long-term goal of facing energy challenges head-on, even with fluctuations in electricity and water usage,” said Jean-Louis CHAMPSEIX.
ST is not only a semiconductor company, but also an ultrapure water manufacturer. ST produces 30 billion liters of ultrapure water annually for production operations. Not only do we do circular economy ourselves, but we also cooperate with some major customers on circular economy, and take large-scale zero-waste actions on a global scale.
ST’s corporate environmental goals are at the forefront of the industry, not only in its own factories, but also in the wider supply chain, promoting greenhouse gas reduction and controlling the impact of climate change. In 2020, ST won out of more than 5,000 companies and was one of 277 CDP climate change A-list companies. This carbon disclosure project is a very strict carbon reduction standard.
Example of water resource management (Image source: ST Company)
In the pre-process manufacturing and post-process packaging and testing of semiconductors, water resources are inseparable. ST considers itself responsible for the water challenges in the regions where it operates, assesses the level of water stress at each facility, takes into account local water restrictions, ensures that all wastewater is properly treated before being discharged back into the natural environment, and continuously improves the water efficiency.
Committed to addressing the challenges of water scarcity and wastewater treatment, ST has reduced water consumption by 72% since 1994, and ST has set an ambitious target to reduce water consumption by 20% by 2025 compared to 2016. %.
Taking the Ang Mo Kio plant in Singapore as an example, ST is investing in upgrading the fluoride wastewater treatment system. In 2021, the recovery rate of fluoride wastewater will be 100%, compared to 30% before the upgrade. At the same time, ST is investing more in water purification and is testing a new method of purifying water with green grass, which collects all metals and particles, helps reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and effectively purifies water.
Industrial production inevitably generates industrial waste, and ST works with customers and partners to promote a circular economy and achieve zero waste. Before the epidemic, ST’s garbage recycling rate (waste reused, recycled or sent for recycling) reached 93%. Affected by the epidemic, some partners have encountered difficulties in recycling operations in the past two years. The recycling rate is only 88%, which is still a world leader. ST’s goal is to achieve 95% recycling rate by 2025.
Another goal of ST is zero waste. ST has established a factory in Shenzhen, China, working with customers who cannot be named for the time being, to achieve a very effective zero-waste approach. ST is currently rolling out this successful practice to its Calamba plant in Malaysia.
Adhere to the meaning of sustainable development
Since its inception, ST has adhered to the road of sustainable development, and ST has also truly felt the significance of sustainable development. Jean-Louis CHAMPSEIX believes that ST and its stakeholders are reaping the benefits of sustainable development.
One is to reduce multiple risks, including risks to employees, such as health, safety and even unemployment; reduce risk to customers in terms of resilience, reputation and supply; reduce risk to investors, strengthen the ability to execute long-term plans, and accelerate realization Sustainable growth; it also reduces risks for society as a whole, and mitigates environmental pollution and resource scarcity in the communities where it operates.
The second is the added value. On its own, sustainable development creates a lot of short-term and long-term added value, such as saving 6% to 10% of electricity bills, saving tens of millions of dollars per year. Since ST was founded, hundreds of millions of dollars have been saved in energy efficiency. From a customer perspective, the benefits of sustainability are threefold: (1) bring customers greater machine agility, resilience, and operational capabilities during crises; (2) bring innovation capabilities that bring them and their end customers Responsible products with added value; (3) Cooperate with customers to carry out advanced sustainable development actions.
Furthermore, sustainable development creates value for society itself. Jean-Louis CHAMPSEIX talked about how ST took some measures to help the community during the new crown epidemic and formed a virtuous circle. In the first week of the outbreak, ST sent out more than 80,000 masks and received an almost equal number of email thank-you letters from around the world. Later, 100,000 masks were ordered to protect ST employees, but about 101,123 masks were received in Italy. It was later learned that the operators and staff of ST’s Shenzhen factory had purchased different quantities of medical masks in the Shenzhen market and sent them to Italy. employees. Jean-Louis CHAMPSEIX said: “There are so many stories like this, they create a lot of virtuous circles. We help the community, the community helps our employee families, we help our employee families, and the employee families in turn help the community, in the long run. Look, it’s a virtuous cycle.”
Sustainability has been integrated into ST for 25 years. The COVID-19 pandemic has once again demonstrated the importance of sustainable development in improving business resilience and competitiveness. During this crisis, ST people who are at the heart of sustainable development have shown greater engagement, greater solidarity and greater productivity. At the same time, the epidemic has also raised the expectations of all stakeholders for sustainable development.
ST is confident about the future, “There are no insurmountable challenges in implementing a sustainability strategy, and we have the expertise and resources to implement it. When you are a trailblazer, you have to innovate, and there is no precedent to follow. .So, ST has innovated a lot and we are very confident that we have found a better solution than the stated goals,” concluded Jean-Louis CHAMPSEIX.
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