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    Sustainability is not just a corporate responsibility, but a core component of the value proposition at STMicroelectronics

    STMicroelectronics, a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications is among the early changemakers in the ongoing sustainability issue. The company has been consciously adopting environment-friendly norms and practices and has also charted out its plan for achieving carbon neutrality by 2027. ST has been forward-looking in establishing an ecosystem where business and technology stay relevant and focused on sustainability even under lingering geopolitical and economic disturbances. They are building sophisticated and cutting-edge systems and inculcating best practices within the organization with the utmost understanding of the fact that environmental awareness is its own reward in the semiconductor industry.

    ST published its annual Sustainability Report 2024 that delves into insights into its 2023 performance on the ESG markers.

    Group Vice President, Corporate Sustainability at STMicroelectronics

    Rashi Bajpai, Sub-Editor at ELE Times spoke with Mr Jean-Louis Champseix, Group Vice President, Corporate Sustainability at STMicroelectronics, on the subject of carbon neutrality and the many aspects of sustainability that ST works upon actively.

     

     

     

     

    ELE Times: Give insights into your vision and sustainability goals at a time when talks on climate change and the environment have taken centre stage on a global platform.

    Jean-Louis Champseix: Sustainability is not just a corporate responsibility, but a core component of our value proposition delivering benefits to our company, our customers, and to society.

    We believe that technology has a critical role to play in addressing the environmental, social, and economic challenges facing our world today. We are committed to developing innovative technologies and products that enable the transformation of our economies and societies through digitalization, smarter mobility, and decarbonization.

    The company’s approach to sustainability is designed to mitigate risks, capitalize on opportunities presented by the global shift towards a more sustainable economy, and build a resilient business that can thrive in an ever-changing world.

    And while climate change and environmental topics at large are at the heart of many sustainability-related discussions, sustainability encompasses not only environmental conservation efforts but also addresses social issues.

    This is why ST is dedicated to upholding the highest standards of labor practices, ensuring the health and safety of its employees, and engaging in community development.

    ELE Times: Help us understand the sustainability strategy and business model that ST has adopted.

    Jean-Louis Champseix: Throughout our value chain, we have integrated sustainability into our business model. We have implemented numerous programs to effectively manage our impacts, opportunities, and risks, ensuring that sustainability remains at the forefront of our operations and activities.

    Our guiding principles and 24 sustainability goals are detailed in our sustainability charter. This is endorsed by Jean-Marc Chery, our President and CEO. Our progress towards these annual, 2025 and 2027 goals are described in our latest Sustainability report, with a focus on transparency.

    In our business model, we leverage our expertise in the semiconductor industry to serve sectors that are pivotal for a sustainable future, such as renewable energy, electric vehicles, and smart grid technologies. The company also maintains a strong commitment to ethical business practices, transparency, and corporate social responsibility. By integrating these principles into its core operations, ST aims to not only achieve financial success but also to foster positive environmental and social outcomes, aligning with the broader goals of sustainable development.

    ELE Times: What have been the major challenges that ST had to overcome in the last decade to achieve a significant result in 2023? Also, highlight the top achievements in your journey towards building a more sustainable future for ST globally.

    Jean-Louis Champseix: Over the last 28 years, from 1994 to 2023, we have succeeded in drastically mitigating our environmental impact per unit of production. Here are some key figures:

    • -84% of perfluorinated compounds (PFC) emissions
    • -76% of water consumption
    • -56% of electricity consumption
    • +336% of waste recycled.

    As for the last decade, we have made remarkable progress in many areas, from climate action to safety.  Let’s look at responsible mineral sourcing. Responsible sourcing means companies can identify the origin of the metals contained in electronic components and ensure their extraction, transport, or trade are not associated with serious abuses related to people, working conditions, or the environment, or with bribery and money laundering. We went from 18.5% of ST products free from conflict minerals in 2012 to 100% over the last few years.

    We are also proud of being among the best in class when it comes to ensuring a safe working environment to our employees. Through the collective efforts of our sites, we maintained strong safety performance results in 2023: our employee recordable injury case rate was 0.10, better than our target of 0.13.

    Our journey is far from over: we intend to continually improve our performance in all areas of Sustainability.

    ELE Times: How does a giant like ST bring out positive results in tackling sustainability and climate goals? What steps has ST taken to ensure the organization remains driven towards attaining sustainability in all areas?

    Jean-Louis Champseix: Our sustainability journey started 30 years ago. Since our first environmental policy back in 1993, we have built, step by step, a robust sustainability strategy endorsed by our top management and supported by ambitious goals and a culture of continuous improvement.

    There are at least two success factors.

    • First, we embed more and more sustainability into our operations at all levels. The corporate environmental team is responsible for developing programs and procedures that enable us to work towards our environmental objectives. These are implemented by local sustainability committees, each of which develops a roadmap according to the needs of their respective sites. Our manufacturing sites each have an Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) steering committee responsible for implementing the environmental policy. We also launched a program to embed sustainability in each step of business strategy, planning, and decision-making. This is supported by accelerator workstreams to facilitate cross-organization collaboration in priority areas.
    • Secondly, we consider transparency a must. This is why we have been publicly reporting our target as well as our performance for 27 years. Additionally, socially Responsible Investment (SRI) rating agencies, analysts and investors regularly request detailed feedback on a wide range of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) topics to evaluate our corporate behavior and performance. Participating in these evaluations gives us an opportunity to assess our performance within a wider context, benchmark ST against our peers and identify areas for further improvement. It also enables us to monitor investment trends and identify new risks and opportunities. These evaluations have resulted in ST’s inclusion in leading sustainability indices and rankings.

    ELE Times: ST has committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2027. Please elaborate on the Plan of Action.

    Jean-Louis Champseix: In 2020, we announced our commitment to becoming carbon neutral by 2027 on scope 1 and 2, and partially scope 3. Our carbon neutrality program comprises five main workstreams:

    • reducing as much as technically possible our direct emissions, that represented more than 50% of our total emissions, through perfluorinated compounds (PFC) abatement systems
    • investing in energy savings, in particular in our manufacturing sites where many energy-saving initiatives are implemented,
    • using renewable energies to reach 100% of electricity coming from renewable sources in 2027,
    • minimizing all our indirect emissions by optimizing product transportation, business travels and employee commuting,
    • sustainable sequestration of what cannot be avoided at the end of our roadmap through credible offsetting programs.

    The programs in place at all our manufacturing sites address our direct and indirect emissions in accordance with scopes 1, 2, and partially 3 of the GHG Protocol. In 2023, we continued our progress towards carbon neutrality, with –45% of scopes 1 & 2 (versus 2018) and reaching 71% of renewable electricity sourcing.

    More information on ST’s sustainability efforts can be found at https://www.st.com/content/st_com/en/about/sustainability.html

    Rashi Bajpai
    Rashi Bajpaihttps://www.timesev.com/
    Rashi Bajpai is a Sub-Editor associated with ELE Times and TimesEV. She is an engineer with a specialization in Computer Science and Application. She focuses deeply on the new facets of artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies. Her passion for science, writing, and research brings fresh insights into her articles and updates on technology and innovation.

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