Facilities strategy | Sustainable manufacturing | Remediation | Results | Looking ahead
For TI, sustainable sites are about responsible facility operations and manufacturing, operational efficiency, quality and risk management, compliance, and transparency. This means producing technologies in a way that reduces any impact on the environment and protects the health and safety of employees and the communities where we operate.
We aim to be open about the materials we use and the impact of our operations, and also work to ensure that our sites comply with global regulations, standards and certifications, as well as our own standards.
In 2013, we improved efficiency and monitored operating performance in our office building and manufacturing environments. Our semiconductor manufacturing teams continued to implement improvements, review and manage regulated substances used in our products, and ensure compliance – all while addressing customers' unique fabrication specifications. While we outsource the fabrication of our Education Technology products, we work closely with those manufacturers to help them meet TI's standards and expectations.
TI works globally to ensure that its facilities operate more efficiently. We certify new buildings under the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. We don't certify existing buildings, but we do adopt some LEED practices into our existing buildings' best practices. This benefits the company, our employees and our surrounding communities.
Noteworthy sustainable facilities activities completed during the year include:
- Starting construction of TI's new business and development center in Sugar Land, Texas, which will be the first LEED-certified office building in that city. The $35 million facility will employ about 375 people.
- Installing 43 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at TI sites in Texas as part of a federally funded program designed to accelerate EV adoption. In return for the free installation, TI will evaluate the charging systems throughout the year.
- Shut down operations at two older, less-efficient manufacturing sites as demand has increased for larger wafers, which can be produced more cost-effectively and efficiently at other TI facilities.
In 2013, TI manufactured approximately 80 percent of its semiconductor products and outsourced 100 percent of its Education Technology product manufacturing. We encourage our manufacturing suppliers to operate responsibly.
In our own manufacturing practices, we work to maintain compliance with applicable standards and regulations, source and use raw materials responsibly, and reduce social and environmental impact.
Sustainable semiconductor manufacturing initiatives completed during the year include:
- Incorporating elements of the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition's protocols and tools into our standing operating procedures to drive continuous improvement in product manufacturing and regulatory compliance.
- Continuing to work with SEMATECH and the Engineering Research Center for Environmentally Benign Semiconductor Manufacturing to help identify potential environmental, safety and health risks associated with the use of nanomaterials, as well as to evaluate appropriate controls.
- Updating software tools to make the monitoring and management of restricted chemicals, and raw material analytical data and certifications, more intuitive and manageable for TI and its suppliers. These tools will also help us more quickly communicate with customers about product content compliance.
- Enhancing internal mechanisms to ensure that our restricted chemical and material compliance processes are more accurate, streamlined and robust.
- Continuing to design semiconductor packaging that solves customer problems by delivering advances in miniaturization, integration, high reliability, high performance and low power.
- Opening a Package Technology center in Japan to develop leading-edge packages and power-management devices, engage in strategic research and development, and provide technical support to our assembly/test sites worldwide.
- Continuing to ensure that our evaluation modules and development kits comply with applicable product compliance regulations and customer safety needs.
- Partnered with a recycler to recover batteries used in Education Technology products in North America.
- Redesigned a lithium-ion battery-powered calculator to achieve an ultra-low-power state, reducing off-current draw and extending battery life between charge cycles.
TI owns dozens of properties globally. A few of our sites – some acquired from other companies over the years – have historical contamination. TI also retains environmental remediation responsibilities for some previously owned sites.
We take our obligation to environmental stewardship seriously in the communities where we operate and are committed to remediating and monitoring within the guidelines of local, state and federal regulations, as well as to our internal company standards. For a summary of investments related to the continued cleanup of these properties, see our 10-K report.
In recent years, new guidelines issued in California and Maine call for indoor air (vapor intrusion) assessments in buildings located above or near known areas of groundwater contaminated with trichloroethylene and other solvents. In 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued guidelines requiring additional, more extensive vapor intrusion testing for trichloroethylene in Santa Clara, California, on a campus designated as a federal Superfund site in 1987 that TI acquired in late 2011. We also conducted testing at our site in Portland, Maine.
TI completed vapor intrusion and indoor air assessments during the year and will continue the assessments in 2014. Results from the testing of indoor air in occupied portions of buildings on TI campuses under normal operating conditions have not identified unacceptable risks to human health.
- TI implemented energy and water projects that reduced its utility bill by $10.2 million in 2013. Since 2005, TI's efficiency investments, primarily in existing buildings, have reduced the energy required to manufacture a chip by 47 percent and the amount of water required by 36 percent. If we were still operating at our 2005 efficiency level, our 2013 utility bill would have been $44 million higher.
In 2014, we plan to:
- Complete construction of our Sugar Land, Texas, office and obtain LEED certification.
- Continue demonstrating to our customers that TI's protective control processes are robust and embedded.
- Continue researching and evaluating potential nanomaterial impacts from their use in product manufacturing.
- Continue to work with Education Technology manufacturers to identify efficiencies on the production line and simplify the manufacturing process.
- Continue vapor intrusion assessments at affected sites throughout the U.S. as well as Malaysia.