Environment, CSR, and Quality

Environment

Sony Semiconductor Solutions Group environmental policy

Environmental policy

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 Corporation
  • ・Sony LSI Design Inc.
  • ・Sony Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation
  • ・Altair Semiconductor Ltd.
  • ・Sony Device Technology (Thailand) Co., Ltd.
  • ・Sony Precision Devices (Huizhou) Co., Ltd.

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.

Site environmental initiatives

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).

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions

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

1. Using high-efficiency cooling and heating systems

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.

Image of cooling/heating system with the world's highest level of performance and stable cooling/heating. [essential of energy efficiency] Energy-efficient by design (consciously), Jointly developed with equipment manufacturers (actively), Controls are refined and improved (enthusiastically), and Equipment management maintains high performance (routinely). [Integrated cooling tower] Contribute to high efficiency of freezers by adopting fine inverter & new control system. [Pumps for transport] Reduce power for transport by inverter control and high-efficient motor and low resistant piping. [Inverter turbo freezer/Low speed turbo freezer] World's highest performance apparatus, Realize high reliability such as momentary power loss. [Inverter chiller for recovering waste heat] Adopting high-efficient apparatus, Use waster heat for heating. [Exchanger of steam & water heating] Use for linking chiller and boiler. [Small once-through boiler] Adopt high-efficient apparatus & control units. <Controller> Central part of control.

2. Reducing energy loss with low-resistance pipes

Energy loss in pipes was eliminated by designing gradual slopes in the on-site piping to conserve the inertia of fluid flowing inside.

Diagram of low-resistance pipes. Short elbow (sharp curves) → Long elbow (gradual curves)

3. Saving energy by combining recovered waste heat with a two-fluid humidification system

  • 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.

4. Installing solar energy system

  • Solar panels were installed on the roof of Building 1 at Kumamoto Technology Center in February 2019 is expected to provide an annual output of about 1.24 GWh. This places it among Sony Group sites in Japan with the highest output. Designed with regional sunlight in mind, the installation includes solar energy storage modules to ensure availability on cloudy days and off-peak hours.

5. Promoting Cool Biz and Warm Biz

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.

6. Measures for emissions of perfluorocarbons (PFC) and other greenhouse gases

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.

Reducing water 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.

1. Reducing pure water used by single wafer wet cleaning equipment

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.

2. Improving wastewater recovery through optimal timing of collection

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.

Image of Nagasaki Technology Center Reduction of water consumption

Reducing waste

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.

Diagram of the industry's highest level of fragmentation (waste). Sorts waste (solid, liquid, etc.) into up to 65 systems. [Recycling by breaking down to raw materials] Waste plastics, scrap-iron, cullet, waste oil, paper, etc. are made into raw materials. [Recycling capitalizing on material characteristics] Sludge → Cement materials, waste oil → Fuel. Waste acid/waste alkali → neutralizing agents. Waste plastic → RDF (solid fuel). Waste products and equipment → Metals recovered waste food → Fertilizer. [Use without capitalizing on material characteristics] Waste oil → fuel additive, waste glass → roadbed materials, etc.

1. Reusing mask containers as reusable shipping cartons

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.

Diagram of reducing waste emissions by reusing packaging containers

2. Isolating factors to reduce sludge

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.

3. Changing a flocculant to reduce dye effluent

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.

Reducing volatile organic compounds

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.

Measures against environmental risks

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.

1. Final rainwater discharge monitoring and emergency containment system

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.

Figure of rainwater final discharge monitoring / emergency shutoff system. Water quality of rainwater flowing off-site is constantly monitored and immediately blocked if irregularities such as chemical substances are detected. In this case, the rainwater is returned to o-site areas where the water quality is improved. Once it has been rendered non-toxic, it is discharged.

2. Aboveground construction of all tanks and pipes

  • 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.

3. Measures to prevent chemical leaks

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.

Image of preventing chemical leakage

4. Waste tank inspection from all sides

Waste tanks are designed to provide underground access for inspection from below. This enables leak inspection from all sides.

Figure of inspection system for waste liquid tank leakage. The bottom of the wastewater tank can be seen, making it easy to check for leaks. Sensors also enable prompt leak detection. Liquid that leaks brought to a wastewater treatment facility immediately.

5. Response to Soil and Groundwater Contamination

Link to Sony Sustainability Report Response to Soil and Groundwater Contamination

Biodiversity initiatives

1. Groundwater recharge initiative

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 2018, 2.79 million m³ more water than Kumamoto TEC's yearly water usage (including tap water and groundwater) was recharged.

Diagram of Kumamoto Technology Center's groundwater recharge business. Utilized the rice fields that purify and infiltrate the water, draw water from the river to the paddy fields and return the water to the basement. In particular, the area can be recharged a lot because it becomes soil (commonly known as colander) where water easily penetrates underground.
  • Image of rice planting and harvesting
  • 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.

2. Oita Technology Center Kunisaki Satellite greening and "Shionoka Park", always open to the public

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 February, 2019.

Social and Environmental Green Evaluation System (SEGES) logo, Oita Technology Center Kunisaki Satellite Aerial Image, and Shionoka Park Image

3. Biodiversity at a Ramsar-registered wetland: native species conservation, nature observation

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.

Image of Sony's “ECO” American crayfish capture strategy

Locally responsive environmental activities

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.

1. Plant tours and voluntary cleanups at all technology centers

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.

Image volunteer cleaning

2. Kagoshima Technology Center: Forestation and flower programs

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.

Image of a flower-filled activity. 1500 acorns are planted and raised on the premises

3. Shiroishi-Zao Technology Center: Eco Forum activities

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.

Image of Eco forum activity

4. Nagasaki Technology Center: Honmyo River cleanup

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.

Image of a cleanup meeting of Honmyo River

Record of awards received

List of main environmental awards received by Sony Semiconductor Manufacturing

Date Awarded Description Technology Center
Oct. 2001 Award of excellence, National Convention of Excellent Examples in Energy Conservation, Energy Conservation Center of Japan (ECCJ) Kagoshima
Feb. 2002 Award of excellence in plant energy management, ECCJ Heating/Electrical Division Kagoshima
Feb. 2002 Director-general’s award for excellence in plant/building energy management, Tohoku Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry Shiroishi Zao
Oct. 2003 METI minister’s award for factory greening Oita(Kunisaki)
Oct. 2004 Director-general’s award for factory greening, Kyushu Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry Nagasaki
Dec. 2005 Grand prize in an environmental traffic management program in Kumamoto Kumamoto
Feb. 2006 Director-general’s award, Agency for Natural Resources and Energy Kagoshima
Feb. 2006 Award of excellence, ECCJ Kumamoto
Feb. 2006 Award of excellence, ECCJ Nagasaki
Feb. 2006 Award of excellence in plant energy management, ECCJ Heating Division 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. 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 Oita(Kunisaki)
Jul. 2007 Japan environmental management grand prize (award for coordinated environmental management) Kumamoto
Oct. 2007 Asahi corporate citizen award, Asahi Shimbun Kumamoto
Oct. 2007 President’s prize, 3Rs Promotion Council Shiroishi Zao
Nov. 2007 Nikkei 2007 monozukuri grand prize, Nihon Keizai Shimbun Sony Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation
Apr. 2008 2008 prime minister’s award for greening initiatives Oita(Kunisaki)
Jun. 2008 Kumamoto environmental award, Kumamoto Prefecture Kumamoto
Feb. 2009 Director-general’s award, Agency for Natural Resources and Energy Kagoshima
Jul. 2010 Award for workplace excellence, High Pressure Gas Safety Institute of Japan Shiroishi Zao
Jul. 2010 Award for activities supporting sparsely populated villages, Governor of Oita Prefecture Oita(Kunisaki)
Nov. 2010 Award for organizational efforts toward sanitary living environments, Governor of Oita Prefecture Oita(Kunisaki)
Aug. 2011 Certified in a Kumamoto forest program promoting air quality Kumamoto
Feb. 2014 Award for activities supporting sparsely populated villages, Governor of Oita Prefecture Oita(Kunisaki)
Aug. 2014 Certified as a gold enterprise in a system to recognize groundwater conservation Kumamoto
Mar. 2015 Superlative Stage-certification in the Social and Environmental Green Evaluation System, Organization for Landscape and Urban Green Infrastructure Oita(Kunisaki)
Aug. 2015 Director’s award of merit in electrical safety, Kyushu Industrial Safety and Inspection Department Kagoshima
Aug. 2015 Director’s award of merit in electrical safety, Kyushu Industrial Safety and Inspection Department Nagasaki
Nov. 2015 Kirishima citizens award Kagoshima
Mar. 2016 Superlative Stage-certification in the Social and Environmental Green Evaluation System Oita(Kunisaki)
Aug. 2016 Award of excellence, 2016 Nagasaki environmental prefectural council award Nagasaki
Mar. 2017 Superlative Stage-certification in the Social and Environmental Green Evaluation System Oita(Kunisaki)
Mar. 2018 Groundwater recharge operations / groundwater conservation Kumamoto
Aug. 2018 Certified in a Kumamoto forest program promoting air quality Kumamoto
Oct. 2018 Recognized at the sixth Green Society Awards Oita(Kunisaki)
Mar. 2019 Grand prize winner in a system commending groundwater conservation in fiscal 2018 Kumamoto
Mar. 2019 Highest certification (Green Legacy) in the Social and Environmental Green Evaluation System (SEGES) Oita(Kunisaki)

Environmental management in products

Managing chemical substances in products

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.

Upstream management

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.

Management in quality control/quality assurance processes

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.

Utilization of chemical analysis

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.

Diagram of management of chemical substances contained in products

Promotion of Environmentally Conscious 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.

  • Image of sulfur flame retardant and SORPLAS ™ pellets
  • 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.

<links to references> Reducing Use of Virgin Plastics
SORPLAS™, Sony's Original Flame-Retardant Recycled Plastic
https://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/csr_report/environment/products/plastics.html

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