Adjusting or repairing some of the sprinkler heads on my lot is a regular Spring duty for me. This year, when I was working on my front lawn, my 97-year old neighbor, a former doctor (MD), and the only original owner of one of the 70-year old homes on our street walked by. His 5-year old great-grandson accompanied him. It happened to be garbage day and earlier that day, I had lined up along the curb our small black garbage bin, the big green bin for organic waste and the big blue one for recyclable waste. My neighbor suddenly stopped, because the young fellow was asking him why I needed so many garbage bins and what the different colors meant. The MD patiently explained that our city wants us to separate our trash into different bins, to simplify recycling and make it easier for our generation to keep the world clean for him and his children. The young man thought for a while, then turned to me and said: “Thank you, Sir, for keeping the world clean for me and my children!”. I was very glad to see that the young generation in the U.S. is also thinking ahead long-term like I was taught in Europe.

The Responsible Business Alliance

However, the recent MEPTEC Luncheon, held at SEMI on October 16, dampened my hopes that U.S. baby-boomers, filling many executive ranks today, would plan very long-term like this young fellow and me. Because, compared to all previous luncheons I have attended over the years, this event – focusing on keeping our world clean for generations to come – had by far the lowest number of attendees.

I hope you are interested to learn about what you missed at this luncheon. So, let me summarize what I have learned from Julia Goldstein, the owner of JLFG Communications, and recap a few points for your own cost-benefit analysis:

  • Scientists’ warnings about climate change and global warming are being confirmed by terrible weather conditions, such as heatwaves, droughts and severe floods. Sea-level rise threatens our coastal cities, while water shortages, due to decreased precipitation in many areas, threaten agriculture. Thinking and acting “green” to protect profits, people and oiur planet from much worse damage in the future is now starting to really make sense.
  • Also, being a socially responsible company is becoming more and more important in the eyes of consumers, customers, OEM partners, communities as well as local, state and federal legislatures. Slide 1 shows some large companies that have responded to these requirements and joined the Responsible Business Alliance. Their website details the alliance’s goal: Advance sustainability globally.
Figure 1: Corporations who joined the Responsible Business Alliance  (Source: Goldstein)
  • When focusing on our industry segment, Goldstein showed slide 2. It lists which foundries and IC / PCB assembly and test houses comply with the ISO 14001 standard – and expect (often demand) partners to do so as well.
  • Figure 2: Major players in the IC and PCB assembly and test area that support ISO 14001   (Source: Goldstein)

    Another effort to make companies more environmentally conscious is the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). 14000 organizations worldwide, spanning the entire supply chain, work together to share ideas and processes to make their operations greener and more profitable. Their scope doesn’t only focus on manufacturing steps but looks at the entire product life cycle, from evaluating materials sources, energy use and environmental hazards during manufacturing, to power consumption during operation, as well as reuse and recycling considerations.

  • If your company is a member of SEMI, you are welcomed to contact Olivier Corvez.  He can tell you how SEMI makes it easier for members to pay more attention to the environment, health and safety issues. He attended Goldstein’s presentation and explained his role in support of these important topics.

If this message is the last step that makes you assign an employee to dig much deeper into “how to be green” , please ask him/her to check Julia Goldstein’s website for additional information sources, examples of her writing and editing skills and/or general guidance how to make your company more environmentally friendly.

Goldstein, formerly a process engineer, also wrote an easy to study book: “Material Value”. It talks about sustainable materials and green manufacturing. You can find Francoise’ book review about it here.

To loop back to my intro paragraph: Please, think about our children, grand-children and maybe even great grand-children, plan for their future and keep our planet green for all of them. They’ll thank you!

Thanks for reading…Herb



Herb Reiter

After more than 20 years in technical and business roles at semiconductor and EDA companies,…

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