Setting the tone | Driving innovation | Responsible production | Ethics and compliance | Transparency | Ensuring quality | Embracing a changing landscape
TI seeks great things for its products: the company strives to continually improve performance while reducing environmental impact. Sustainable technology design and production promises to be a great growth frontier for us. Our innovations are already helping dozens of industries make their products more efficient, more reliable and safer.
Product responsibility, or what we call product stewardship, encompasses nearly every aspect of our operations and is integral to the continual innovation of products needed to meet the world's demands. This includes helping ensure that our customers' products are created and supported responsibly.
We take a deliberate approach to managing the evolving facets of product stewardship, including innovation management, conscientious design, responsible packaging and labeling, product content, marketing, ethics, and quality and compliance.
Setting the tone
Our leaders set the direction and expectations for each facet of product stewardship, while our business units are responsible for ensuring that deliverables meet customers' needs. Every employee is responsible for understanding these expectations – within their own organization and at the corporate level – in order to enable the design, development and delivery of exceptional products.
At TI, innovation is about identifying new market opportunities and creating technological solutions that customers do not yet know they need. It is about asking the right questions today to arrive at answers needed for tomorrow – and then making those solutions accessible to the marketplace.
Innovation management and a commitment to work toward solutions with social and environmental benefits are key elements of our approach to product stewardship. We make significant investments annually in research and development, on product and technology definition, design, systems development, and testing and redesign. These investments are key to anticipating and meeting customer needs, and for continuing the company's success in forward-thinking technology development.
We also collaborate with academic visionaries who have a desire to achieve the impossible.
One example of our commitment to innovation is our global innovation labs. These research centers work toward applying technology to a wide spectrum of the world's needs, including our customers' medical and energy-management initiatives.
We take a proactive approach in minimizing any negative impact to human health and the environment at each stage of our products' life cycle, from design conception to manufacturing to disposal. We work hard to meet and exceed customer requirements, and to identify and develop new technology that enables social and environmental benefits. We have also established product safety and environmental measures.
We carefully design and manage the contents of our products to either eliminate hazardous material or, where appropriate, to use such material within the tight constraints of customer and industry standards during their manufacture. Our product labels provide content information as defined by industry and customer requirements.
Additionally, we have aligned the International Electrotechnical Commission Quality Assessment System's 080000 requirements with the International Organization for Standardization's 9001 and Technical Specification's 16949 quality systems.
We are concerned about mounting electronic waste and the proper disposal or recycling of our products at the end of their useful lives. We consider the life cycle of products first during the design phase of our semiconductors by focusing on the use of responsible materials and by improving reliability to ensure a longer product life.
We address product end-of-life and disposal issues in our role as a semiconductor components manufacturer by providing the information our customers need for responsible recycling or disposal. Also, as a producer of consumer devices such as graphing calculators, we help make sure they can be responsibly handled at the end of their life.
Ethics and compliance
We continue our founders' commitment to ethical business practices, a requirement in today's global economy. This commitment is illustrated in, among other things, maintaining compliance with applicable laws and ethical standards involving marketing, advertising and sponsorship. We accomplish such compliance by incorporating product, legal, communications and marketing expertise into our marketing communications processes.
For example, an important element of ethical business conduct is the protection of confidential information. We exert the same significant effort to protect our customers' trade secrets as we do to protect our own. We have designed programs, training and infrastructure to sensitize our employees to this important need and meet these high expectations.
In addition to conscientious design, we are an industry leader in product transparency. We provide information about the content of our semiconductor products to meet customer and consumer needs. We also share our position on many of the emerging global standards designed to protect customers, consumers and the environment.
Our quality management system serves as the foundation for ensuring that our product, support and manufacturing organizations are compliant with external requirements. TI's Quality organization is responsible for establishing specifications to meet legal and customer requirements. Our General Quality Guidelines and practices are available on our website. We verify compliance with these requirements through internal and external audits.
Customer feedback from surveys and scorecards provides further evidence of compliance as well as insight on emerging needs. We also adhere to internationally recognized standards and organizations to track or certify our quality and maintain compliance with global environmental, safety and health (ESH) regulations and sustainable manufacturing principles. These and other product stewardship endeavors continue to be guided by our policies and procedures.
Embracing a changing landscape
In 2012, we completed a strategic transition to focus our business on analog and embedded processing semiconductors. As we move toward producing more automotive, infrastructure and industrial technologies, we expect it will present both social and environmental opportunities and challenges.
The applications in these areas have longer life cycles, which affect total cost of use, power consumption and ongoing maintenance needs. TI has the opportunity to address global energy constraints, meet customer demand for greater efficiency, and reduce cost-of-use over a product's life cycle by producing powerful and reliable semiconductor solutions that consume less energy.
For example, one of our integrated circuits harvests up to 70 percent more energy from such sources as solar, thermal electricity, electromagnetism and vibration. We anticipate that our customers will use this and other new TI technologies to create socially and environmentally beneficial products across medical and industrial fields that were simply not imaginable just a few years ago.