Apple’s carbon neutral plan!The semiconductor supply chain manufacturers feel pressure


According to NewSwitch’s Kyoko Zhang, decarbonization of semiconductor equipment manufacturers is accelerating.In addition to improving the environmental performance of their products, companies are working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from their operations.Apple, the world’s largest user of semiconductors, is encouraging its customers to use 100 percent renewable energy in their production.The Spillover Effect seems to be spreading across the manufacturing equipment industry.Hiroki Fukushima, vice director of The Tokyo Electronics Production Division, revealed the changing attitude of the semiconductor industry. “In the past, customers chose products based on quality and reliability, and whether they could produce better equipment.But from around 2019-2020, environmental performance will also be added.”In order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from semiconductor manufacturing, it is necessary to reduce the environmental impact of manufacturing equipment.”If you ignore this, you cannot succeed in this industry,” Fukushima said.In view of this rising decarbonization trend, manufacturers of manufacturing equipment should commit themselves not only to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from their business activities, but also to reducing the environmental impact of their equipment.In June 2021, Tokyo Electronics launched “E-Compass”, an initiative aimed at establishing a sustainable supply chain.Together with about 1, 000 suppliers, Tokyo Electronics has rolled out plans to reduce its environmental impact.Specifically, Tokyo Electronics will reduce carbon dioxide emissions from its procurement logistics by switching from trucks to rail transport and reducing the use of packaging materials.In addition, it will provide equipment that does not contain harmful substances to the environment and develop active equipment environmental protection technology.Tokyo Electronics aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions per wafer produced by 30 percent by 2030 compared with 2018.It plans to reduce its total carbon dioxide emissions by 70 percent by using renewable energy in every branch.But Mr Fukushima realised: “We have to keep up with growing environmental awareness.”So Tokyo Electronics is considering raising its target further.DISCO aims to be carbon neutral (zero greenhouse gas emissions) throughout its supply chain, including products, by 2050.Most of our customers have focused on cost in the past, but in the future, environmental performance should also be taken into account, said Icama Seki, president of DISCO.Even if the price is slightly higher, advanced energy-saving features of the equipment may be more important.DISCO’s Mano Factory (Mano City, Nagano Prefecture) is expanding solar panels. In the company’s own business activities, DISCO has set itself the goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.In addition to halving the amount of electricity and water consumed per unit of production, the company has increased its own power generation by expanding solar panels.In February, DISCO will double its solar capacity to about 3,200 kilowatts.In April 2021, Advantest, a major manufacturer of semiconductor testing equipment, switched all power consumption at its Gunma plant in Yurakachi, Gunma Prefecture, to renewable energy.The power consumption of the gunma plant switch is about 12.8 million kilowatt hours per year and is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 5,000 tons per year.The test aims to increase the use of renewable energy to more than 70 percent by 2030 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its operations by 60 percent compared with 2018.The spillover effect brought by Apple inc. promotes the “zero greenhouse gas emission” of the whole supply chain. Behind these environmental protection measures taken by equipment manufacturers, it is apple and other semiconductor users who promote the whole supply chain to participate in environmental protection measures.Apple, the world’s largest user of semiconductors, announced in July 2020 that it would make its entire supply chain, including the production and use of its products, “carbon neutral” by 2030.The number of suppliers that have committed to using renewable energy to supply Apple’s products and materials has reached 175.Semiconductor manufacturers such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world’s largest contract manufacturer, have also agreed.TSMC plans to reduce the growth of its greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2025.America’s Intel will switch to 100% renewable energy by 2030.Semiconductor manufacturers are taking steps to try to reduce greenhouse gas emissions not only to meet the demands of semiconductor customers, but also because of the increasing energy consumption, such as electricity and water, used in semiconductor production.The semiconductor market is expected to continue to grow in the medium to long term due to the spread of 5G and the development of the Internet of Things (IoT). Technological innovations such as miniaturization and stacking are also on the rise.But applying more advanced manufacturing techniques tends to increase energy consumption, so reducing energy consumption is a pressing concern for semiconductor manufacturers.At the current growth rate, 20 percent of the world’s electricity is expected to be consumed by semiconductor manufacturing, according to industry analysts.”It will be a painful process to balance economic efficiency and sustainable development,” said Yoshiaki Yoshida, president of EdM, referring to semiconductor manufacturers’ growing sense of crisis.We want to try to make a contribution to protecting the earth’s environment.”Semiconductors are now called “food for society and life.”It can be said that the environmental protection measures of semiconductor supply chain are essential for the realization of sustainable development of society.- END –

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