Approach to Environmental Conservation

We manufacture and sell products and provide solution services based on these products, focusing on analog semiconductors. With the coming of the Internet of Things (IoT),* in which a wide array of objects are computerized and connected via networks, analog semiconductors will be embedded in the devices used in our daily lives and industrial activities, acting as key components to provide people with new experiences and create new value.
If the energy-saving performance of analog semiconductors was improved, for example, this would reduce the power consumption of the electronic components embedded in various devices, contributing to a reduction on the environmental impact of society as a whole.
To accomplish this, we are thoroughly knowledgeable of the characteristics of our business, and engage in ongoing environmental conservation activities aimed not only at reducing the environmental impact of our business processes, but also at helping reduce the environmental impact of society itself through our products and solutions.

* Internet of Things. “The IoT concept refers to a state where vehicles, white appliances, robots, facilities, and nearly all other things connect to the Internet and exchange information with each other. According to the concept, as things are converted into data and automation based on these data progresses, new added value will be generated.” (Source: Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications “White Paper 2015: Information and Communications in Japan” Part 2, Chapter 5 Section 4 “Structural Changes in the Economy Caused by ICT Advancement”).

Environmental Policy

ABLIC Environmental Policy

As a member of the MinebeaMitsumi Group, we at ABLIC share our aim of contributing to the protection of the global environment and sustainable human development. We operate our business activities in a responsible manner which respects the environment to contribute to the creation of a prosperous and sustainable society.

  1. We shall establish environmental targets aimed at minimizing environmental impacts, and continue to improve our environmental management system and environmental performance.
  2. We shall strive to save energy, use sustainable resources, and create products that do not use or contain hazardous substances through our products’ life cycles, and seek to enhance satisfaction and trust among our customers using “Small, Smart, Simple” innovative products.
  3. We shall strive to prevent pollution so as to mitigate damage to the natural environment and rapid climate change and reduce impact to ecosystems.
  4. We shall conduct our corporate activities with fairness and integrity in accordance with laws and regulations and the needs of all stakeholders.
  5. We shall make this environmental policy known throughout ABLIC, and each employee shall strive to conserve the environment with a sense of ownership.

Nobumasa Ishiai
President and CEO
ABLIC Inc.
April 1, 2021

Environmental Management System

In October 2018, we commenced working on initiatives toward attaining ISO 14001 Environmental Management System certification on our own as ABLIC Inc. with “Small, Smart, Simple” as our pillar. Certification was attained in July 2019. Through an environmental management system in accordance with the ISO 14001 international standard, we are working on using sustainable resources as well as mitigating and adapting to climate change through our corporate activities—including products and services—by thoroughly implementing the PDCA management cycle so as to improve environmental performance.

 

Environmental Activities and Results

We are conducting the following activities based on our environmental policy.

1. Energy-saving Measures

– Measures for green product development

We leverage the features of CMOS ICs to develop energy-saving products with low power consumption levels.

– Measures for energy savings in manufacturing processes

To cut back on the amount of energy we use, we are promoting measures aimed at our goal of “reducing total power consumption by 1% compared to the previous year.” To achieve this goal, our semiconductor product manufacturing plants are taking the lead in promoting energy conservation in manufacturing processes, such as by introducing energy-saving vacuum pumps and other energy-efficient equipment and by operating and shutting down equipment flexibly according to production.

– Other energy conservation measures

We are working actively to save energy, such as through the introduction of a web conference system.

 

2. Zero emission (zero landfill waste) measures

We actively recycle the etching fluid, washing fluid, packaging material, and other materials used in our semiconductor product manufacturing processes, working to reduce the amount of waste we produce. Our staff departments also not only sort and separate garbage, but also actively promote the recycling of paper used in day-to-day business operations.

 

3. Chemical substance management

– Chemical substance impact mitigation

In order to safely manage chemical substances and prevent them from having negative impacts on peoples’ health or the environment, of the chemical substances we use in our production processes, we thoroughly manage the emissions and transport volumes of chemical substances designated under the PRTR Act and 100 volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

We are also working to appropriately manage and reduce emissions of other chemical substances, including the early elimination of ozone-destroying substances (specified CFCs in August 1992 and trichloroethane in November 1993), the voluntary elimination of chlorine-based organic solvents (in March 1999), and the elimination of HCFC-141b CFC alternative (a greenhouse gas) (in March 2000).

– Measure for lead-free plating

In response to globally expanding regulations regarding the chemical substances used in products, in December 2003, we eliminated the use of lead in the solder plating of the leads in our semiconductor products.

– Introduction of plating equipment

In order to manage the use of hazardous chemical substances thoroughly, we are promoting the switch from outsourced exterior solder plating processes to partial inhouse production. We also manage wastewater from plating processes thoroughly, and properly dispose of all hazardous waste liquid as industrial waste.

– Promotion of alternatives for hazardous chemical substances

N-Methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP), one of the cleaning agents used in manufacturing, was a highly soluble effective detergent, but since its toxicity was confirmed, we replaced it with other thinners, and discontinued its use as a cleaning agent in June 2021.

– Compliance with the REACH Regulation and the RoHS Directive

To comply with environmental laws and regulations, including the European REACH Regulation and RoHS Directive, as well as associated societal demands, we have established our own standards for green procurement, and we thoroughly manage regulated substances by obtaining information on the chemical substances contained in products we purchase via our supply chain. In addition, where necessary, we appropriately communicate this information to sellers of our products, etc.

 

4. Environmentally conscious product design measures

We perform environmental assessments when developing new products, investigating whether or not the products contain any prohibited substances or regulated substances. For materials, etc. used in our products, we make decisions regarding their use after acquiring and evaluating their environmental impact and safety-related information from SDS (safety data sheets), and we work to reduce environmental impacts from the product design stage.

 

5. Green procurement measures

Based on our internal Green Procurement Standards, we collaborate with suppliers to prioritize the purchasing of environmentally-friendly articles.

 

6. Global warming countermeasures

In FY2020 (January to December 2020), we emitted 23,085 tons of CO2 and had a CO2 emission intensity of 0.73 tons of CO2 per million yen.

 

7. Efficient resource utilization

In FY2020, we generated a total of 793 tons of industrial waste and our landfill waste disposal was 0.003 tons, making for a recycling rate of more than 99.9%. We also used 211,156 m3 of water. In FY2021, we will continue to work on reducing the amount of resources we use. 

 

Total industrial waste production and recycling rate (FY2020)

Sludge 235,171 kg
Oil waste 754 kg
Acid waste 32,300 kg
Alkali waste 55,000 kg
Plastic waste 117,639 kg
Wood waste 1,510 kg
Metal waste 71,625 kg
Glass, etc., waste 427 kg
Specified oil waste 9,469 kg
Specified acid waste 63,977 kg
Specified alkali waste 16,680 kg
Specified hazardous waste 186,250 kg
Specified infectious waste 0 kg
Other 2,180 kg
Total 792,981 kg

* Refers to specially managed industrial waste, which has stricter regulations than for normal waste.

Total general waste volume 792,981 kg
Landfill waste volume 34 kg
Recycled volume 538,053 kg
Reduced volume 254,894kg
Recycling rate 99.996%

* The above values are actual values for our production sites, the Takatsuka Unit and the Akita Unit.

 

8. Efficient use of water resources

Recognizing that the use of water resources in production activities poses a potential risk in the medium to long term, we are working on using water efficiently and conserving water quality from the perspectives of both conserving water resources and biodiversity and reducing management risk. 

 

[Takatsuka Unit]

In terms of using water resources efficiently, we have set numerical targets for the amount of water reused and are working to achieve them. Specifically, at plants responsible for upstream semiconductor processes, which use large amounts of water, the total amount and percentage of reused water in the production of ultrapure water are calculated, and are evaluated and reviewed monthly to ensure that water resources are being used efficiently.

In terms of water reuse, we are working to improve the efficiency of waste water collection in production processes. The water reuse rate was 43.0% in FY2019, 47.2% in FY2020 and 47.5% in FY2021, demonstrating an annual improvement in the percentage of water reused. Through these efforts, we are aiming to continuously maintain a water recycling rate of at least 40.0%.

As for our initiatives for water quality conservation, we regularly monitor the quality of wastewater from our plants, and we are working to prevent water pollution in rivers and other discharge sites.

How wastewater is reused at plants (Takatsuka Unit)

 

[Reuse of water (Takatsuka Unit)]

The recycled water utilization rate is calculated every month and fluctuations are checked against a recycled water utilization rate base value of 40%.
If the recycled water utilization rate falls below the base value or if a downward trend is observed, action is taken.

 

[Akita Unit]
At the Akita Unit, with an aim of reducing our environmental impact, we have introduced wastewater recycling equipment in the dicing (DC) and back grinding (BG) processes, which use large amounts of water. By actively reusing wastewater from equipment, we have reduced the amount of drawn groundwater and reduced the amount of water discharged into rivers.
The reuse rate for wastewater from equipment is currently hovering around 55%. With a goal of increasing this to 60%, we will work on improving the reuse rate by optimizing the operation of the wastewater recycling equipment.
As for our activities for water quality conservation, we regularly monitor the quality of wastewater from our plants, and we are working to prevent water pollution in rivers. 

How wastewater is reused at plants (Akita Unit)

[Reuse of water (Akita Unit)]

 

 

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