The Industry's Sustainability Efforts

Jason Lomberg, North American Editor, PSD



We’ve spilled a ton of digital ink on the consumer world’s green efforts, but sustainability can be found much closer to home. Infineon Technologies just announced plans to go carbon-neutral by 2030, and that inspired me to take a look at our industry’s voluminous environmental efforts.

In the past, we’ve covered Ralph Lauren’s renewable energy push and McDonald’s climate change goals (plus Amazon’s huge electric vehicle investment), but our own industry is no green slouch. At its Annual General Meeting in Munich, Infineon vowed to cut emissions by 70 percent over the 2019 levels by 2025 and to be 100% carbon-neutral by 2030.

Infineon has committed to meeting the goals laid out in the Paris Climate Agreement, and they’ve got a great head start – according to the company, frontend production sites use around 52 percent less electricity per square centimeter of processed wafer surface than the average for all manufacturers.

“With our goal of becoming carbon-neutral, we are strengthening our efforts through electricity from renewable sources and investments in exhaust air treatment that far exceeds the industry standard,” said Jochen Hanebeck, Chief Operations Officer of Infineon.

But they’re not the only company with ambitious climate goals.

American semiconductor giant Texas Instruments implements 100 efficiency projects every year that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and saves an average of more than $5 million in energy costs. And according to their stats, “TI has conserved 1,453,871 mmBTU of energy – the equivalent of powering 39,400 homes for a year.”

Since 2017, Micron has increased their water and waste recycling and decreased energy use and associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and they aim to achieve a 10% energy savings by 2022, with 2016 as their baseline year.

Analog Devices has a similar goal, with ambitions of a 50% greenhouse gas emission reduction by 2025 over their 2015 baseline. They’re “making a significant investment in the use of renewable energy at ADI manufacturing sites and establishing targets for our overall carbon footprint in terms of how we deliver ADI products to the marketplace.”

While Microchip’s overall energy use has gone up – as a result of their acquisitions and expansion – they’ve reduced the amount of electricity, natural gas, and distillate fuel oil used in their operations. And the results are impressive – annual CO2e savings of 2,458 (metric tons) and 9,132,618 kWh saved.  

In addition to being a technology partner of the Formula E electric racing series – which “actively promotes electric mobility and renewable energy solutions” – ROHM wants to replace “energy we currently use with renewable energy to reduce CO₂” with “technological development focused on further power saving through products that will be introduced onto the market to contribute to solving energy issues.”

And that’s just (barely) scratching the surface. At this year’s APEC (and every day afterwards), be sure to take some well-deserved pride in our industry’s sustainability efforts.