The Sony Semiconductor Solutions Group will comply with regulations and follow the Sony Group Environmental Vision.To reduce environmental impact through our activities, we will aim at the industry-leading environmental performance, and to create the profitable era from the environmental contribution.
We familiarize employees with this environmental policy and disclose related information.
Sony Semiconductor Solutions Group listed below acquired ISO14001.
Sony Semiconductor Solutions Group proactively participate in industry groups’ activities such as JEITA (Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association). Through these activities, we promote international cooperation among world semiconductor industries, WSC (World Semiconductor Council) and activities to find a solution for the international agenda such as reduction of greenhouse gas, resource conservation and chemical substance.
Sony Semiconductor Solutions Group are aimed at reducing environmental impact reduction activities such as energy conservation and other activities at relevant sites, in line with Green Management 2020 – a set of environmental mid-term targets to achieve by fiscal 2020. Furthermore, we develop the regional activities focusing on contribution to the environment in response to local needs (including the activities for environmental conservation inside the sites).
We are making efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon dioxide (CO2) generated due to use of energy and perfluorocarbon (PFC) used in a manufacturing process. We also promote cyclic use of energy such as installation of high efficiency apparatus and recycling of exhaust heat generated by air-conditioning equipment in semiconductor clean rooms. We implement measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions such as PFC by installing processing equipment
A “high-efficiency cooling and heating system” at Kumamoto Technology Center is 240% more efficient than ordinary systems. From an emissions standpoint, CO2 emissions from this system are more than 80% lower than emissions from a fuel-powered system. A systematic program is also underway at each technology center to improve equipment energy efficiency and replace older equipment sooner than initially planned, among other objectives. Since 2015 these efforts by Sony Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation have been recognized by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry with the highest rating (S class) in corporate energy conservation excellence.
*S class conditions:Achievement of annual reduction of at least 1% in average annual energy intensity for five years, or an ideal mid- to long-term standard for enterprises in benchmarked fields and industries.
Energy loss in pipes was eliminated by designing gradual slopes in the on-site piping to conserve the inertia of fluid flowing inside.
Maintaining quality in cleanrooms used in semiconductor production requires strict control of temperature and humidity, and much energy is consumed by air conditioning systems. To reuse waste heat (extra energy) generated by production equipment as energy for this system, Nagasaki Technology Center installed waste heat recovery equipment. A two-fluid humidification system was also installed, which releases mist (from water and compressed air) to humidify and cool the room. These measures save considerable energy in cleanrooms.
Kumamoto Technology Center installed a 1.1 MW solar power system with the aim of reducing the environmental burden, which it has been operating it since 2019. The equipment generated about 1,240 MWh of electricity in fiscal 2019. Designed with regional sunlight in mind, the installation includes solar energy storage modules to ensure availability on cloudy days and off-peak hours.
Cool Biz and Warm Biz attire is worn at all technology centers in summer and winter months (June–September and December–March). Air conditioners are set at the optimum temperature. Moreover, all employees do their part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, even through “simple measures” such as turning off unneeded lights or idle computers, planning days without overtime, or using an automotive start-stop system when commuting.
Mainly PFCs – including CF4, C2F6, CHF3, SF6, and NF3 – are used in our manufacturing processes. To reduce the amount of PFCs released into the atmosphere, we use less in these processes, choose substances with lower global warming potential, and install abatement equipment in the stage before release. For reference, PFCs represent about 10% of all greenhouse gases emitted by the Group, including CO2 emission from energy consumption.
Purified well water and industrial water is used in semiconductor cleaning, equipment cooling, and for many other purposes in production processes.Our measures to conserve water include reducing the amount used in manufacturing as well as recovering water after initial use, purifying it, and reusing it.
There is some resistance in the industry to reducing the amount of pure water used by wafer washing equipment, which poses a risk of lower yields. Despite this, a thorough review of consumption at Kagoshima Technological Center revealed that water was constantly flowing in some pipes, even when not needed. After careful review to avoid any impact on quality, the constant flow of water was stopped, which has reduced annual consumption by nearly 11,000 cubic meters.
Water from washing processes is reused after treatment. Recovery is controlled by a timer at Nagasaki Technology Center, and by determining an optimal timer setting value, the plant succeeded in recovering more wastewater.
Four perspectives are taken to reduce waste: refuse (by avoiding wasteful purchases), reduce (by generating less waste), recycle (by making used things useful again), and reuse (by using things repeatedly). Sony Semiconductor Manufacturing classifies waste into many categories, and with assistance from waste processing contractors, the company’s rate of reuse and recycling (including thermal recycling) has surpassed 99% since fiscal 2001.
Meanwhile, we also pursue efficient resource utilization to reduce waste such as sludge from chemical treatment and waste liquid from manufacturing.
Containers from semiconductor mask (reticle) purchases consist of corrugated cardboard, cushioning, and other material. These boxes were generally processed as waste, but treating them as reusable shipping containers has eliminated 50,000 tons of waste annually.
Closer examination of wastewater containing fluorine from production at Nagasaki Technology Center revealed lower fluorine levels than expected, which indicated that fluorine treatment was not necessary. Since the amount of sludge generated from fluorine treatment is proportional to the amount of chemicals added to the wastewater, gradual rerouting of low-fluorine lines from the fluorine treatment path to the final neutralization tank reduced the amount of chemicals added and, as a result, the amount of sludge generated. This has enabled a reduction of nearly 2.7 million tons of waste each year.
Use of calcium hydroxide as an additive in dye dryers in the drying process at Kagoshima Technology Center led to scaling and other factors that had reduced processing performance significantly and increased waste. Switching to a new additive with both drying and descaling properties enabled the center to restore and maintain the original level of performance, greatly eliminate the need for equipment maintenance and new installation, and reduce annual waste by about 190 tons.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) measures include switching to alternative substances and reducing use in manufacturing.
Working with equipment manufacturers, we have also developed and are installing compact VOC treatment systems.
Semiconductor production involves a variety of chemical substances, and because considerable amounts of these substances emerge from the manufacturing process, they are carefully controlled and monitored to avoid environmental impact in soil or bodies of water.
The water quality of rain is monitored as it flows off-site. Detection of environmentally hazardous levels of substances immediately closes a rainwater discharge valve. The water is discharged only after complete detoxification.
Instead of being buried, all on-site wastewater tanks and pipes are above ground and readily apparent. Any damage to pipes can be found quickly, enabling prevention of soil contamination.
To prevent soil contamination, or mixing with other chemicals in case of spills from tanks or delivery trucks, chemical handling areas are surrounded by ditches and embankments.
Waste tanks are designed to provide underground access for inspection from below. This enables leak inspection from all sides.
In the event that an incident of soil or groundwater contamination is identified in a Voluntary check or other assessment, remediation processes are implemented in compliance with pertinent local laws and ordinances.
Incidents of soil and groundwater contamination resulting from operations have been confirmed at Sony Semiconductor Solutions Group sites, as shown below. In response, Sony Semiconductor Solutions Group has been remediating the contamination and submitting regular reports to authorities.
|Site/Technology Center||Date Contamination Confirmed||Substance(s) Detected||Cause||Response/Current Status|
|Sony Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation’s Nagasaki Technology Center (Japan)||July 2019
(Result of assessment based on Article 3 of Soil Contamination Countermeasures)
|Fluorine and its compounds||Leakage due to overflow in wastewater system||Conducted additional assessments and reported the results to the government. The same level of fluorine was detected in the additional assessment area neighboring the area assessed in July 2019. However, because there is no likelihood of contamination into neighboring sites, the site has been designated as an “area that poses no risk of damage to human health”. The contaminated soil is being systematically removed.|
Kumamoto Technology Center faithfully replenishes the large amounts of abundant local groundwater used in semiconductor production. This groundwater recharge program began in 2003 with cooperation from the nonprofit Kumamoto Environmental Network, the Midori Network land improvement organization, and many participating local farmers in Kikuyo and Ozu. In fiscal 2019, approximately 2.46 million m³ water usage was recharged.
Rice planting and harvesting in Sony partner fields
To raise environmental awareness, each year Sony employees join in planting and harvesting some fields in the groundwater recharge program. Harvested rice is served in the employee cafeteria.
Located within Setonaikai National Park, the Kunisaki Satellite of Oita Technology Center has been involved in greening since it opened in 1984. A focus of these activities is local biodiversity. "Shionoka Park" opened in 2003. Maintaining this barrier-free park, creating trails, and sharing it with the public demonstrates the plant’s commitment to good rapport with the local community. These activities have been consecutively recognized in the Social and Environmental Green Evaluation System (SEGES) since 2007. Furthermore, continuous activities were certified as “Green Legacy”, which is the highest rank of SEGES in April, 2019.
Miyakozawa, in the city of Tsuruoka near the Yamagata Technology Center, is the only wetland area in the prefecture to be registered under the Ramsar Convention, an international treaty on wetland conservation. Recent years have seen more non-native species here and fewer native ones as species change over time, which has raised some concern. In response, Yamagata Technology Center has assisted the city since 2015 in conservation aimed at protecting native species such as killifish from red swamp crayfish and other invasive species.
Cleanups and other events provide opportunities to communicate with our communities, and we often join locally organized events such as tree planting. Residents and elementary students are also invited to tour our facilities, where we introduce our environmental initiatives.
Plant tours are held for local government administrators, community members, and students at nearby elementary schools by Sony Semiconductor Manufacturing. At cleanup activities, employees and their families volunteer along with members of partner companies.
In 2012, Kagoshima Technology Center committed to participate in a project to plant 100,000 trees in the city of Kirishima, where they have planted trees in a Jomon-period archaeological site. This forestation follows the Miyawaki method – dense plantings of mixed tree species that suit the ecosystem. Oak seedlings from acorns gathered by employees on-site and in nearby hills and fields will be planted in two years. The Center has also supported flower planting in Hayato and Kirishima since 1993. Sponsorship funds are used for flower beds at community centers, among other sites.
Since 2000, this Center and another ISO 14001-certified enterprise in the area have taken the initiative in organizing exchanges with the community on environmental topics. These events include joint collection of small volumes of certain waste (such as fluorescent lights and batteries), exchanging information on environmental activities and holding workshops with other companies, and giving hands-on lessons at local elementary schools to kindle an interest in environmental issues among students who will one day be responsible.
For some time, Nagasaki Technology Center employees have supported a local citizen’s group committed to keeping the Honmyo River clean. Employees have also formed their own group to pick up trash along the river. Since 2014, employees interested in botanical observation have also invited experts from a nature conservation association in Isahaya to learn about wild hops, morning glories, and other riverside plants.
|Date Awarded||Description||Technology Center|
|Feb. 2020||Received Partnership prize of Japan's 15th Ecotourism Awards||Sony Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation|
|Apr. 2019||Highest certification (Green Legacy) in the Social and Environmental Green Evaluation System||Oita（Kunisaki）|
|Mar. 2019||Grand prize winner in a system commending groundwater conservation in fiscal 2018||Kumamoto|
|Oct. 2018||Recognized at the sixth Green Society Awards||Oita（Kunisaki）|
|Aug. 2018||Certified in a Kumamoto forest program promoting air quality||Kumamoto|
|Mar. 2018||Recognized Groundwater Recharging Initiatives as a Japan Committee for United Nations Decade on Biodiversity (UNDB-J) Cooperation Project||Kumamoto|
|Aug. 2016||Award of excellence, 2016 Nagasaki environmental prefectural council award||Nagasaki|
|Nov. 2015||Kirishima citizens award||Kagoshima|
|Aug. 2015||Director’s award of merit in electrical safety, Kyushu Industrial Safety and Inspection Department||Nagasaki|
|Aug. 2015||Director’s award of merit in electrical safety, Kyushu Industrial Safety and Inspection Department||Kagoshima|
|Aug. 2014||Certified as a gold enterprise in a system to recognize groundwater conservation||Kumamoto|
|Feb. 2014||Award for activities supporting sparsely populated villages, Governor of Oita Prefecture||Oita（Kunisaki）|
|Mar. 2013||Superlative Stage-certification in the Social and Environmental Green Evaluation System||Oita（Kunisaki）|
|Aug. 2011||Certified in a Kumamoto forest program promoting air quality||Kumamoto|
|Nov. 2010||Award for organizational efforts toward sanitary living environments, Governor of Oita Prefecture||Oita（Kunisaki）|
|Jul. 2010||Award for activities supporting sparsely populated villages, Governor of Oita Prefecture||Oita（Kunisaki）|
|Jul. 2010||Award for workplace excellence, High Pressure Gas Safety Institute of Japan||Shiroishi Zao|
|Feb. 2009||Director-general’s award, Agency for Natural Resources and Energy||Kagoshima|
|Jun. 2008||Kumamoto environmental award, Kumamoto Prefecture||Kumamoto|
|Apr. 2008||2008 prime minister’s award for greening initiatives||Oita（Kunisaki）|
|Nov. 2007||Nikkei 2007 monozukuri grand prize, Nihon Keizai Shimbun||Sony Semiconductor kyushu Corporation|
|Oct. 2007||President’s prize, 3Rs Promotion Council||Shiroishi Zao|
|Oct. 2007||Asahi corporate citizen award, Asahi Shimbun||Kumamoto|
|Jul. 2007||Japan environmental management grand prize (award for coordinated environmental management)||Kumamoto|
|Jul. 2007||Excellent Stage3-certification in the Social and Environmental Green Evaluation System||Oita（Kunisaki）|
|Feb. 2007||One of three sites jointly recognized with the Kyushu Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry director-general’s award for excellence in energy management||Oita（Kunisaki）|
|Feb. 2007||One of three sites jointly recognized with the Kyushu Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry director-general’s award for excellence in energy management||Nagasaki|
|Feb. 2007||One of three sites jointly recognized with the Kyushu Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry director-general’s award for excellence in energy management||Kagoshima|
|Feb. 2006||Award of excellence in plant energy management, ECCJ Heating Division||Nagasaki|
|Feb. 2006||Award of excellence, ECCJ||Nagasaki|
|Feb. 2006||Award of excellence, ECCJ||Kumamoto|
|Feb. 2006||Director-general’s award, Agency for Natural Resources and Energy||Kagoshima|
|Dec. 2005||Grand prize in an environmental traffic management program in Kumamoto||Kumamoto|
|Oct. 2004||Director-general’s award for factory greening, Kyushu Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry||Nagasaki|
|Oct. 2003||METI minister’s award for factory greening||Oita（Kunisaki）|
|Feb. 2002||Director-general’s award for excellence in plant/building energy management, Tohoku Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry||Shiroishi Zao|
|Feb. 2002||Award of excellence in plant energy management, ECCJ Heating/Electrical Division||Kagoshima|
|Oct. 2001||Award of excellence, National Convention of Excellent Examples in Energy Conservation, Energy Conservation Center of Japan (ECCJ)||Kagoshima|
Our Group complies with the laws and regulations on chemical substances contained in products, and in order to reduce the impact on the global environment conservation and ecosystems, we follow unified Sony Group standards in Controlled Substances: SS-00259 for General Use to manage specified substances.The rules take into account relevant laws and regulations around the world and reflect the opinions of stakeholders. We manage chemical substances that are common throughout the world for the parts and materials that make up our products.
In 2002, Sony established the Green Partner Environmental Quality Approval Program, which outlines Sony's Green Partner Standards for chemical substance management. Sony audits suppliers based on these standards.
Sony purchases electronic parts only from suppliers who have passed this audit and have been certified as Green Partners.
Sony also applies the Green Partner Environmental Quality Approval Program to manufacturing partners.
To further enhance the efficiency of the system to manage chemical substances, in 2003 Sony introduced the Green Book, a raw materials database, which was made available to Sony's direct suppliers via its electronic supplier portal.
In the Green Book, Sony has registered only those materials that it has measured and confirmed compliance with the SS-00259 standards for Sony's designated raw materials such as recycled plastics and wires, and also for molding resins, paints, inks, and other materials that are commonly used by multiple first tier suppliers.
To assist REACH *1 compliance, Sony has collected information on raw materials listed in Green Book data on the content of certain chemical substances and makes this data available to its suppliers and contract manufacturers.
*1 REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) is a regulation for managing chemical substances introduced in Europe, whereby companies are required to, among others, register, apply for authorization, notify, restrict and communicate information on certain chemical substances.
New parts and materials are tested to ensure conformity with SS-00259 standards in addition to compliance with conventional quality control standards. Data on the content of certain chemical substances collected from suppliers are thoroughly evaluated for this purpose. By implementing these strict management procedures worldwide, incompliant products are prevented from entering the market.
To prevent prohibited substances from accidentally entering products, Sony requires suppliers to conduct ICP analysis on the specific parts and materials. For some high-risk substances Sony has also implemented internal control systems that involve using, for example, X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and other measurement devices, to Sony sites worldwide, to help confirm that prohibited substances are kept out of products.
We promote the various activities for reducing the environmental impact(energy and resource conservation, the management of chemical substances and usage of recycled materials) by setting environmental mid-term targets for each product.
Examples of Environmental Features in Sony Products(usage of recycled materials)
Leading the development of recycled plastics SORPLAS™
We've reduced our use of non-renewable resources by developing SORPLAS™, a recycled plastic that offers both sustainability, and high performance, making it ideal for our new products.