This industry sector forms a cornerstone of the society by generating and enabling economic growth. In this area, complex processes have to run smoothly before the final product reaches customers around the world. This means that advanced technology is needed to balance economic efficiency and environmental protection during the production of goods.
The Catalyst Group’s work within this sector is aimed at helping our clients:
The U.S. semiconductor industry, one of the country’s top export sectors, is responsible for a fraction of one percent of U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, according to the EPA’s most recent GHG Reporting Program data (2014). The EPA data shows that out of 5.7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents (mmt CO2e) emitted by industrial facilities in the U.S., only 3,204 mmt CO2e — or 0.177 percent — is emitted by electronics manufacturers, including semiconductor manufacturers. Most of the industry’s emissions are associated with the use of fluorinated gases (F-gases) used in complex manufacturing processes, without which advanced semiconductor manufacturing is not technically feasible.
The process of manufacturing semiconductors in fabs relies on the highly controlled use of limited quantities of chemicals. Some of these chemicals have been identified as posing environmental or health concerns, and the industry has responded by (a) researching alternatives to these chemicals, (b) phasing out non-essential uses, and (c) identifying substitutes in even critical uses.
Semiconductors are a foundation of modern computers, information technology, and communications products, and our products are also ubiquitous in advanced manufacturing processes, transportation systems, health care devices, building controls, energy generation equipment, and other sectors of the economy. As a result, semiconductors are a key enabling technology to improve energy efficiency and reduce energy consumption throughout the economy. In short, semiconductors are a key part to addressing global climate change while also advancing economic growth.
According to a study by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), the adoption of semiconductor-enabled technologies has resulted in significant energy savings throughout the economy. Moreover, the study found that if new policies accelerated adoption of these technologies by just one percentage point per year, electricity demand in 2030 could be 1.2 trillion kilowatt-hours (kWh) lower than the Department of Energy’s reference case, a scenario that had already assumed substantial savings from implementation of semiconductor enabled efficiency applications compared to “frozen efficiency” case that posited continued reliance on today’s technologies.
The semiconductor industry has an outstanding safety record for workers at fabs and we help our clients improve and maintain that safety record.
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