Corporate Environment Health & Safety
For more information, please contact Corporate Environment Health & Safety.
Our environmental program helps NXP conserve vital resources and increase our efficiency. It covers a variety of topics, such as energy use, water conservation and waste management. We monitor and measure the environmental impacts of our program using a Sustainability Management System. This system tracks progress and measures how our manufacturing sites use electricity, natural gas, water, waste and other energy resources, such as fossil fuels. The relevant data from each production location is put into the corporate database on a quarterly basis.
As specified in our Sustainability Policy, NXP conserves natural resources and reduces the environmental impact of its operations. NXP has already made great strides in reducing energy and water consumption. The general environmental objectives of reducing the use of natural resources, minimizing waste and maximizing recycling opportunities have translated into several long-term objectives: by 2020 we plan to reduce our normalized electricity and water usage by 30%, and recycle 90% of waste generated based on a 2010 baseline. The Sustainability Office sets new targets annually so the 2020 goals can be achieved. Final approval of the targets and global programs is given by the Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) Board, comprised of executive leaders. EHS-related programs and KPIs are in place for all of our factories and metrics are reported quarterly.
Our energy consumption is primarily comprised of electricity we consume, natural gas we purchase and a small amount of diesel is used in our emergency generators.
Semiconductor manufacturing is an electricity intensive process, and, as a result, our sustainability programs place a high priority on reducing our electricity consumption. The majority of our electricity is consumed within our wafer fab manufacturing sites.
Reduce normalized electricity consumption by 30% in 2020 from a 2010 baseline.
NXP’s strategy is to reduce the normalized (per wafer of cm2) electricity consumption and find opportunities within the sites for conservation projects and operational efficiency improvements. In 2019, individual sites had several electricity conservation projects and initiatives such as optimizing building operations, installing energy efficient equipment, using more efficient lighting technologies and powering down equipment when not utilized.
From 2010 to 2019 the normalized electricity consumption decreased by 6.5%. In 2019, the absolute electricity consumption decreased from 2018, however, the normalized electricity consumption increased for 2019. Due to the nature of the manufacturing processes and the factories not being able to adjust the larger infrastructure systems to a lower production volume, we saw the normalized electricity consumption increase versus the absolute electricity consumption reduction. We expect our production to return to prior levels and therefore the normalized electricity consumption is expected to decline in 2020.
The NXP industrial sites continue to work towards reducing energy consumption. Optimizing processes and replacing or upgrading equipment are key means of improving energy efficiency. Some examples are: reduce the air flow velocity in the clean room, reduce and optimize exhaust and air extraction systems, upgrade air dryers, reduce cooling tower outlet temperature and purchase energy efficient equipment such as new chillers, compressors and vacuum pumps. There are other projects that are optimizing energy consumption by replacing lighting with LED bulbs and powering off equipment when not in use.
Electricity consumption at our offices and R&D centers is 3.2% of our total consumption.
While this is a small portion of our electricity consumption, we find it necessary to also reduce electricity consumption in our offices and R&D centers. Projects at sites include replacing bulbs in light fixtures with LED energy efficient bulbs and reminding employees through posters and blogs to turn off equipment and lights when not in use. The greatest reduction throughout the years is from reorganizations, mergers & acquisitions and divestments.
Many of our locations have embraced the challenge of using more renewable energy to help achieve our 2020 goals. As a company, 17.7% of our energy consumption comes from renewable sources and have steadily increased throughout the years. We have on-going projects world-wide dedicated to electricity reduction and are identifying new opportunities to purchase renewable energy.
The majority of natural gas is used for the heating of buildings, generation of steam for humidifying our buildings and the use within our pollution control equipment.
Having stable power is a crucial requirement to maintain factory operations. When infrequent power interruptions occur, we have emergency generators at our sites that support the life safety systems that are built into the processes of our wafer fabs and assembly and test facilities. These emergency generators are powered by diesel fuel.
NXP recognizes that water is a critical natural resource that is of strategic importance to our business and the communities in which we operate. Semiconductor manufacturing is a water-intensive process and produces wastewater that can impact the environment. Our sustainability programs place a high priority on water conservation to continuously improve our water use efficiency, minimize our water use and ensure high standards of effluent and wastewater treatment.
Within our manufacturing sites, our primary water sources/supply is local municipal water. The Nijmegen site extracts 6% of ground water. The Oak Hill site has a large-scale water harvesting system that collects rain water and uses it for irrigation.
To reduce our normalized water usage by 30% in 2020 from a 2010 baseline.
NXP’s strategy is to reduce our water consumption through conservation and recycling opportunities. Our manufacturing sites conducted several water conservation initiatives, such as improving processes and reusing water. One of the water initiatives in 2019 focused on standardizing water flow rate on wet hood toolsets. The water flow was not consistent so by standardizing these tool sets, we optimized the usage of water, reducing water consumption significantly.
From 2010 to 2019, NXP’s normalized water consumption, based on cm2 wafer production, decreased by 13.4%. From 2018 to 2019, the absolute water consumption decreased, but due to a reduction of semiconductor production, the normalized water consumption increased. This increase is due to the fixed volume of the batch process tanks and vessels which cannot be adjusted for production decreases. Our percentage of water recycled decreased in 2018 due to Nijmegen increasing their ground water extraction, which reduces the amount of municipal water consumption. However, ground water extraction is not as clean as municipal water, therefore it cannot be recycled in various processes. In 2019 we increased our water recycling rate to 39% due to projects to conserve water.
The Water Stress Index (WSI), obtained from Verisk Maplecroft, quantifies baseline water stress at the catchment level, while also identifying localized variations within the catchment boundaries. A risk category is assigned to each catchment based on the ratio of water use to renewable supply, enabling users to visualize the inherent water stress in that area. Within catchments, the map reflects different levels of combined domestic, industrial and agricultural water demand.
Index values are divided into four risk categories to aid interpretation: extreme (0.0-2.5), high (>2.5-5.0), medium (>5.0-7.5) and low (>7.5-10.0). Countries are assigned a rank, based on their relative position in each index. The index is based on mean annual water stress, and therefore the seasonality of water stress is not captured. In some areas, well-defined wet and dry seasons produce marked variations in water supply through the year and subsequently levels of water stress exhibit distinct seasonal fluctuations.
Many of our operations are located in semi-arid regions that may become increasingly vulnerable to prolonged droughts. As the impacts of water use greatly vary by location, the water experts at our sites research and manage ways to reduce consumption and increase recycling. Our efforts include incorporating water conservation elements into the design of our facilities and establish water use goals for new technologies.
A significant amount of water use is related to production of silicon wafers during fabrication. We work with semiconductor equipment manufacturers to optimize and reduce water consumption within our tools and processes. In addition, we reuse water after the manufacturing process for other industrial purposes and continue to increase efficiency throughout the process. For example, some sites will treat industrial water from manufacturing operations and recycle it to replace incoming water that is used for cooling towers, scrubbers and abatement equipment. Additional projects under consideration will be selected based on the input from local stakeholders and environment groups. These projects will be prioritized based on the impact on direct and long-term improvements to the local water supply. One project under research is to recycle ultra-pure water used in multiple tools such as wet hoods. The recycling of water reduces the water sent to waste, avoids water discharge and allows us to decrease our water consumption.
Although our ultimate vision is to continuously reuse water in semiconductor manufacturing, we currently discharge water from our operations to both surface water and municipality owned treatment and operating systems, in compliance with local permits. Regardless of the manner of discharge, we focus on the quality of the water we return, and to minimize overall impacts, we eliminate pollution substances at the source first. We monitor and manage the quality of all wastewater discharged by utilizing on-site water treatment facilities and continuous monitoring/testing as required by local authorities. Our water discharge methods vary by site, however all sites surpass local permitting thresholds. NXP did not have any waste water excursions and did not receive any fines or penalties in 2019 for waste water discharge.
In Action: In response to a severe drought, the Kaohsiung, Taiwan site began several water-saving initiatives recycling and reusing more than 60% of their water. A new procedure for wastewater has yielded considerable savings. Wastewater from wafer sawing is recycled in soft-water tanks, through the use of Ultra Filter (UF) and active-carbon systems. A new Reverse Osmosis (RO) system will provide additional recycling of waste water from sawing. As an added step, wastewater from wafer grinding will be recycled into cooling towers, via Dissolved Air Flotation (DAF), fiber-filter and active-carbon systems. These new water-processing systems are already generating significant savings. In 2019, the Kaohsiung site has reduced its normalized water consumption by 53% from a 2010 baseline, generating significantly less wastewater.
In Action: In Singapore, there are restrictive water use rules and our site at SSMC has efficient water recycling programs within the wafer fabs, recycling 41.6% of their waste water and reusing it within the process. It is accomplished by having multi-tiered segregated waste water streams that are treated to various degrees based on the contamination levels. The water treatment systems use multi-media filters, reverse osmosis, degasification, ultra-filtration, ultra violet sterilization and other technologies to treat the waters. Each of the recycled water streams have dedicated reuse options that optimize the usability of water.
Semiconductor manufacturing generates hazardous, non-hazardous, office and one-time waste. Most of the waste generated from our operations is tied to the manufacturing of our products. We have waste reduction programs in place at our sites to handle and manage hazardous and non-hazardous waste in an environmentally responsible manner. Our waste reduction programs focus on increasing the percentage of waste recycled and reduce the amount of hazardous waste sent to the landfill. To continue progress toward our goal to increase our recycling rate, we continue to identify innovative ways to recycle or recover waste streams for reuse, or even convert them into sources of revenue.
For waste that requires specialized handling, we only ship to vendors equipped with the knowledge and expertise to properly reclaim, recycle or destroy. All handling of our waste is done according to local rules and regulations. We audit the waste management vendors annually to ensure they are responsibly handling, meeting all regulatory requirements and ultimately managing the disposition of the waste with minimal impact on the environment.
Increase the recycle rate of solid waste to 90% by 2020 from a 2010 baseline.
NXP’s strategy is to continuously look for opportunities to reduce the amount of waste generated by improving yield, optimizing processes and minimizing the waste of scrap material. Some examples are:
Our total waste that we generate as an ongoing basis (operational) and those such as construction process (one-time waste) is calculated for our fabs and assembly operations in which the two will be combined and identified as total waste. We consider one-time waste as those waste streams that are generated not part of normal operations but rather generated because of unique one-off projects. Examples include: construction and roofing debris from site demolition.
In 2010, our recycling rate was 65% and in 2019 the recycling rate increased to 73%. Waste generated from operations was categorized 73% recycled, 20% landfill and 7% incinerated. In 2019, we continued our work to better understand the process for each site and how to optimize our recycling opportunities across the globe. Many of the recycling vendors serving some locations either do not have options for specific waste streams or due to demand, are no longer able to recycle that stream. Our biggest opportunity to increase recycling is to be able to manage our waste water sludge. In some locations, there are opportunities to recycle the sludge material and in other locations there are not. We continue to search for alternative recycling vendors to increase our 2020 recycling opportunities.
NXP has a very proactive “reclaim” program and uses the best available technology to manage e-scrap. E-scrap is collected from factories, test centers and subcontractors around the world. The materials collected include process metallic scrap pieces, parts and fixtures, failed test devices and ICs, engineering materials, test architecture boards, chemicals, silicon in all forms and manufacturing process byproducts containing metallic components. NXP processes these materials not only to recover the value of metals and silicon, but to do so in an environmentally sound method available with minimal waste going to the landfill. The smelter captures nearly 100% of the material available for recovery.
While our products are not typically subject to recycling or e-waste laws, we work with others to identify shared solutions for our used products. We also take steps to integrate environmental considerations into the design phase of our products to minimize environmental impacts of our products at their end of life.
In 2019, NXP conducted an audit of our assembly and test facilities e-scrap program and our e-waste vendors, which provided additional opportunities to increase reclaim effectiveness. The audit’s purpose was to verify products were recycled, review, and ensure security controls were in place for asset, IP and anti-counterfeit protection. Proper EHS methods were used in the entire e-scrap disposal process. Checks and balances were in place to make sure the material was properly crushed; split and all material was accounted for. For additional assurance, comparative analysis and internal benchmark was conducted.
Overall, there were no significant issues observed, additional improvements have been documented for program improvements. Such improvements are more frequent auditing, witnessing of the e-scrap and third-party validation of sample results. Corporate and site teams have action plans in place and will continue monitoring the program.
To make sure our products reach our customers undamaged, we use special packaging materials to protect them during shipment. We are committed to using sustainable pack-and-ship methods and using specially designed packaging tubes and shipping trays that occupy minimum space, are light in weight for shipping purposes and are easy to recycle.
We work with our packaging suppliers to drive changes in the materials that we use to ship products between our sites and our customers. Our long-term vision is to have a sustainable and closed-loop packaging program for all inbound, outbound and return shipments.
We advise our customers on the possibilities for recycling. We know that most of our larger customers already have recycling programs in place, but we don't have accurate figures on how much of our packaging is recycled by our customers.
Our packaging uses mainly paper & cardboard (1,045 tons) and plastic (2,509 tons) in 2019. The use of wood is for the wooden pallets that ship our products. While the 2019 packaging data includes a majority of NXP sites, it does not include all. We intend to include all NXP sites in future reports.
For more information, please contact Corporate Environment Health & Safety.