Factory and Office Initiatives
Initiatives to prevent global warming and save energy
Each Tokyo Electron(TEL) factory and office has an established goal of reducing energy consumption by at least 1% year-over-year. Initiatives to achieve this goal include energy-saving clean room operation, appropriate temperature settings for office cooling and heating, and the introduction of highly energy-efficient equipment. Tokyo Electron Miyagi, for instance, achieved more energy-efficient operation by installing a turbo refrigerator, resulting in a reduction of energy consumption. It set an environmental goal of reducing the power consumption of its turbo refrigerator by an average of 20% in the first half of fiscal 2017, by an average of 30% in the second half, and by an annual average of 25% (year-over-year). Tokyo Electron Miyagi achieved its goal with an average 22.6% reduction in the first half, an average 34.8% reduction in the second half, and a 26.3% reduction across the full year. In addition, LED lighting has been installed at our factories and offices in Japan, and photovoltaic power generation systems have been installed at some of these sites, generating 4,436 MWh of renewable energy in fiscal 2017. Tokyo Electron U.S. Holdings in the United States has also been actively engaged in activities including the ongoing purchase of green power, 3,334 MWh in fiscal 2017.
As a result of these initiatives, power consumption was 253 GWh in fiscal 2017, down 0.4% year-over-year; and CO2 emissions from energy consumption* were 141 kilotons, down 4.3% year-over-year. Goals were also achieved at seven of our 11 worldwide factories and offices that had reduction goals.
* In calculating CO2 emissions, the emission factor for TEL’s electricity consumption in Japan in fiscal 2017 was substituted by adjusted emission factors for the electrical power providers concerned. The emission factor for TEL’s overseas electricity consumption was substituted by estimated factors calculated by the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan based on values published by the International Energy Agency (IEA).
Initiatives to reduce water consumption
TEL has established a goal of keeping water consumption at the same level or below that of the baseline year (fiscal 2012 for factories and offices in Japan and a fiscal year of their choosing for each overseas operation). In fiscal 2017, we achieved 10 of the 14 goals at our sites worldwide. Continued efforts to achieve these goals include installing water-saving devices, watering lawns with rainwater, and implementing intermittent operation of cafeteria faucets. Overall, we reduced water consumption by 1.9% year-over-year to 1,055,000 m3 in fiscal 2017, and we discharged an estimated 874,000 m3 of wastewater.
Initiatives to reduce waste
TEL is contributing to waste reduction and recycling whenever possible by sorting waste and switching to waste-free production processes. When not possible, we appropriately dispose of non-recyclable waste. We also put a great deal of effort into waste sorting activities and participate in the electronic manifest system*1 to ensure proper waste management.
One example of our initiatives is the Koshi Factory in Kumamoto, where activities were undertaken to reduce the amount of inventory being disposed of as waste. To better utilize inventory, active efforts were made to rework components with low demand and to control inventory changeover with design changes. The factory successfully achieved reductions in terms of both waste and cost, reusing about 40% of inventory (based on cost) that would have been disposed of the previous year.
In fiscal 2017, we generated 112 tons of incinerated and landfill waste in Japan. As a result of our waste-reduction initiatives, the recycling rate*2 at sites in Japan in fiscal 2017 was 99.0%, achieving our goal of maintaining a recycling rate of 97% or higher for the 11th consecutive year since fiscal 2007. The recycling rate for our overseas factories and offices was 91.5%.
*1 Electronic manifest system: A system for electronically tracking the flow of industrial waste instead of using paper-based manifests (i.e. paper forms for tracking industrial waste). The system uses a communications network of data processing centers, businesses that generate waste, and waste collection/disposal companies.
*2 Recycling rate: (Recycled amount/ Amount of waste generated)x100
Management of chemical substances
TEL uses chemical substances in our product development and manufacturing phases. The use and release of chemical substances that are under the purview of the Japanese PRTR*1 law are consistently monitored and managed. Whenever we introduce a new chemical substance or change the way an existing substance is used, we check for environmental, health, and safety risks beforehand. We dispose of hazardous substances properly after use, either through expert waste disposal contractors or by using in-house processing equipment. In response to the April 2015 revision to the Fluorocarbons Recovery and Destruction Law, we have been conducting simple, regular inspections to monitor the amount of fluorocarbons that have been released and have been used in equipment as a refrigerant and the amount that has been recovered. In fiscal year 2017, our factories and offices did not exceed the level of fluorocarbon leakage that requires reporting.
*1 PRTR: Pollutant Release and Transfer Register. A framework for tracking, tabulating, and disclosing quantitative data on chemical substances that may be hazardous to human health and the ecosystem, including the amounts used and discharged into the environment and the amounts transferred (as part of waste) off the original business’ premises.
The environment plays host to an enormous amount of biodiversity. This biodiversity supports a number of ecosystem services, without which the TEL Group would be unable to continue its business activities. Our activities, however, have a non-negligible impact on biodiversity. Based on this recognition, the Group has put in place a framework to promote initiatives for biodiversity conservation.
Activity guideline and map of biodiversity relationships
The TEL Group sets activity guidelines (as below) and makes a map of biodiversity relationships based on our own product life cycle assessments. We promote biodiversity initiatives based on the activity guidelines and the relationship map.
In fiscal 2017, TEL carried out activities with the goal of conducting at least two ecosystem tours at factories and offices in Japan.
In March 2017, the Fuchu District Office held a tour with the theme of “Thinking about how to improve green environments and protect ecosystems .” Participants had the chance to exchange ideas with experts about approaches and methods for protecting indigenous flora around the office and conserving rare plants on the office grounds.
TEL’s environmental policy requires that we foster mutual understanding and a cooperative partnership with our wide-ranging stakeholders to appropriately respond to their expectations. Therefore, it is critical for us to maintain close communication with our stakeholders when implementing environmental measures.
Example of initiatives - 1
In both 2014 and 2015, Esashi factory in Iwate invited its neighbors (representatives of community associations) and local government representatives to the 6th Environmental Debriefing for the Local Community. To help the local stakeholders better understand TEL’s environmental activities, the Esashi Plant also held a lecture entitled "TEL’s Environmental Management" at an environmental skill-building seminar for local businesses in Oshu City, Iwate Prefecture. In February 2016, a TEL representative gave a lecture entitled “Technology for Eco-Life” at the 2nd Environmental Business Seminar held in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture to further enhance communication with our stakeholders.
Example of initiatives - 2
As part of our activities to raise environmental awareness, TEL has been holding the TEL Eco-Life Art and Photo Contest annually since 2009. The contest, which is held for employees and their families, has attracted more entries every year. As many as 624 entries were submitted in 2016 from TEL Group companies worldwide, with a grand total of 2,654 submissions over the past seven years.