Texas Instruments

Environmental responsibility

Materials management

Procurement | Waste management | Results | Looking ahead

TI invests resources to drive responsible, efficient and cost-effective sourcing of materials, and to ensure that its suppliers are prepared to help prevent business interruptions. We also seek to reuse and recycle the materials we purchase to reduce waste, disposal costs and environmental impacts.

Procurement

TI monitors the purchase of direct materials in relation to production demands to better understand its resource-use efficiency.

Semiconductor manufacturing tools are staggeringly expensive and the single most energy-intensive function in our operations. We significantly reduce these costs by purchasing used equipment when possible. While purchasing older equipment reduces capital costs, operating expenses can be higher than for more efficient, newer tools. As a result, our engineers have developed creative ways to extend equipment life and improve efficiency when feasible.

TI implemented a repair and refurbishing program in 2013 to make it easier to repair tool parts to extend their operating life, reduce replacement costs, and keep used parts out of landfills. We continued to install higher-efficiency vacuum pumps and chillers when replacing older, inefficient equipment. We also lowered exhaust and water flow rates on operating equipment to reduce energy and water use without compromising safety or production.

Additionally, we saved money and reduced carbon emissions by:

Waste management

In 2013, our employees and sites worldwide continued to reduce and recycle waste, avoid spills, and responsibly manage waste disposal. (See below for details.) For example, we:

  • Continued our chemical reduction program for manufacturing and assembly/test sites, which calls for each site to select one or more chemicals (based on risks and hazards) and reduce its use by 3 percent or more.
  • Enhanced waste treatment facilities to ensure that they achieved effluent quality requirements and met future capacity needs. This effort included optimizing the systems with sophisticated controls, while reducing their chemical and electricity use.
  • Recycled paper, aluminum and electronics at office sites.
  • Collected unused and obsolete mobile devices to reduce unnecessary costs (discontinuing phone plans not in use), protected TI data by wiping content from the devices, and ensured that batteries and devices were properly disposed of.
  • Increased the number of silicon wafers we recycle.
  • Sent used manufacturing materials, including sputtering targets and photomasks, back to suppliers to reclaim metals and reduce the cost of future targets. 
  • Continued to sell scrap materials from all assembly/test sites, including mold compound flash, excess wire, corrugated cardboard and many other items. This process ensures that the materials are recycled and also generates revenue.

Recycling

Employees across the globe did their part to recycle and properly dispose of materials during Earth Week and for other environment-focused events.

Teams at our sites in North Texas:

  • Collected used and unneeded household electronics for recycling.
  • Cleaned up Cottonwood Park.
  • Participated in a "recycling challenge" to test their knowledge of which bins to use for food waste and compostable containers.
  • Collected four pallets of scrap electronics and two bins of documents for shredding.
  • Recycled 38 tons of plastics, 44 tons of metals and aluminum, 36 tons of wood, 18 tons of corrugated cardboard, 12 tons of organic food waste and 4 tons of paper.

Elsewhere, employees in:

  • Maine recycled 9,813 pounds of electronic equipment.
  • Malaysia displayed educational booths on recycling and showcased a high-speed food composting system to reduce food waste.
  • Japan planted sunflowers in soil composted with fish caught from a local lake. Once harvested, the sunflowers were donated to a local school for use as biofuel.

For their commitment to environmental stewardship, team members in Aizu, Japan, received the Waste Excellence Management Award from the city of Aizuwakamatsu. In the Philippines, employees received the Department of Environmental Natural Resources' Grand Master Award for the Zero Waste Olympics. Also in the Philippines, the Pollution Control Association recognized the Baguio site for being a champion of recycling.

Spills

It is not uncommon for manufacturing operations to experience minor spills of chemicals, fuel, wastewater or other materials. TI's worldwide environment, safety and health standards require all sites to implement both engineering and administrative controls to reduce this risk, contain any spills, monitor where spills occur, and ensure appropriate cleanup actions.

In 2013, no significant spills occurred.

Disposal

TI's waste-disposal practices comply with company standards as well as regulations that vary by country. We determine the most responsible disposal methods based on waste classification, cost, potential impact and local requirements, and we work with suppliers to manage removal and/or recycling efforts.

Results

TI relies on more than 14,000 suppliers for materials and services to create billions of products annually. Although it is difficult to verify the total weight of all materials we procure with certainty, we can track our global waste efficiency. Over the last five years, TI has consistently recycled more than 90 percent of our total waste worldwide.

In 2013, we:

  • Ended the year with a worldwide efficiency (recycling) rate of 92.3 percent. This was a 0.7 percent decline from 2012.
  • Kept 32 metric tons of silicon wafers out of the waste stream by selling them to solar-panel fabricators. Since 2003, our recycled wafers have produced enough solar panels to supply electricity year-round to 2,500 homes and prevent 17,400 metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere – the equivalent of planting more than 850,000 trees.
  • Reduced the use of at least one chemical by 3 percent at manufacturing and assembly/test sites.
  • Collected more than 2,600 mobile devices from TI sites globally for proper disposal.

Additionally, our manufacturing sites around the world:

  • Collected 1.7 million liters of sulfuric acid discarded from manufacturing processes. We then reused approximately 747,000 liters in other processes, and shipped 1 million liters off-site for recycling or reuse by others.
  • Reused wafer-polishing slurry multiple times, saving more than 1.4 million liters of slurry.
  • Recycled more than 900 metric tons of compostable organic waste.





Looking ahead

In 2014, TI plans to:

  • Reduce the use of at least one chemical by 5 percent at each manufacturing and assembly/test site.