Driving innovation | Responsible production | Ethics and compliance | Transparency | Ensuring quality | Embracing a changing landscape
TI's leaders set the direction and expectations for each facet of product stewardship, while the company's business units are responsible for ensuring that products 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.
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 R&D, on product and technology definition, design, systems development, and testing and redesign. These investments are critical to anticipating and meeting customers' needs, and for continuing the company's success in forward-thinking technology development.
We also collaborate with who have a desire to achieve the impossible. One example of our commitment to innovation is our global R&D centers, which work toward applying energy, power management, automotive, health and other technologies to a wide spectrum of end users' needs.
We take a proactive approach to 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 established product safety and environmental measures, and our product labels provide content information as defined by government, industry and customer requirements. TI also adheres to several relevant standards and codes, and works with standards bodies to develop new standards and certifications.
Additionally, 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.
As a semiconductor components manufacturer, we address product end-of-life and disposal issues by providing the information our customers need for responsible recycling or disposal. And as a producer of consumer devices such as graphing calculators, we help make sure that their end-of-life disposal is handled responsibly.
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 to meet our 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 and share our position on many of the emerging global standards designed to protect customers, consumers and the environment.
Our quality management system ensures 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, scorecards and supplier review meetings provides further evidence of compliance as well as insight into emerging needs. Our product stewardship endeavors continue to be guided by our policies and procedures. We also have policies and expectations of our suppliers, and a newly created TI Supplier Code of Conduct.
Embracing a changing landscape
TI's focus in 2013 was to produce more automotive, medical, sensor and industrial technologies. The applications in these areas have longer life cycles that affect total cost of use, power consumption and ongoing maintenance needs. However, TI has the opportunity to help solve 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.
Challenges and risks related to our business are addressed in our annual 10-K Report and include cyclicality in the semiconductor market and rapid technological change requiring new technology and products.
For our efforts, Thomson Reuters recognized TI for the second consecutive year as a Top 100 Global Innovator. This program honors corporations and institutions around the world that are at the heart of innovation. We also received numerous awards for our technologies, including Electronic Products' 2013 Product of Year for the LDC1000 inductance-to-digital converter.