Net Zero

At Lam, we view environmental, social, and governance programs (ESG) as a business imperative. We focus on improving our communities and the environment and strive to incorporate supportive actions into everything we do – from our operations and workplace practices to how we source our materials and design our products. While our social and governance programs are important and remain a key investment focus for us – let’s talk about our planet.

Climate change reports have become increasingly alarming over the past few years. According to the UN Environmental Program’s Emissions Gap Report 2022, by 2030 the world must cut emissions by 45 percent to avoid catastrophic impacts around the globe. The October 2022 report stated we are far from the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to well below 2°C, preferably 1.5°C, and policies currently in place point to a 2.8°C temperature rise by the end of the century.

While Lam has been making strides in its corporate social responsibility efforts over the past decade, the company’s progress on its environmental strategy has ramped up significantly in the last two years. In 2021, Lam announced goals to operate on 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030 and achieve net zero emissions by 2050 – becoming one of the first companies in the semiconductor industry to set such targets.

Determining and Setting Our Goals

The decision to start this journey came from the top: our CEO’s direction to the business to establish new sustainability goals, including a target for net zero, was instrumental to where our environmental sustainability program is today. To bring our internal stakeholders up to speed, we held net zero education sessions with the leadership team and engaged with our board of directors. We then used our company’s annual strategy and planning process to create the roadmap to achieve our goals. And, to ensure accountability, we created a net zero governance structure with working groups to execute our plans and track progress.

Industry benchmarking was also fundamental from the beginning and continues to play a critical role in our efforts. We reviewed company best practices and aligned our goals with science-based targets to develop our robust strategy. We also leveraged feedback from key stakeholders, which included collaboration with customers.

Igniting an Employee Base

If a company wants to build a genuine climate-aware culture, it needs to have strong governance and active employee engagement. The combination of grassroots passion paired with institutional directives and programs drives meaningful participation across the company.

For the Lam Employee Sustainability Community, their enthusiasm is off the charts. This employee resource group was formalized a year ago and now has chapters in countries around the world with hundreds of members. They have spearheaded significant local projects such as impressive energy and waste reduction programs. Employee resource groups empower employees to take ownership, which is very important because it will take a company-wide effort, engaging employees around the world, to achieve our net zero goal.

Continued Steps Toward Sustainability Goals

It was a year of progress for Lam as we unveiled our net zero roadmap and marched toward our sustainability goals. Below are highlights of activity in just the last quarter.

  • We hosted our inaugural ESG Forum, which brought together our top suppliers to discuss innovative approaches to create a more sustainable supply chain.
  • We invited academic and industry leaders to collaborate on solutions that address our industry’s most vexing environmental challenges at Lam’s 2022 Technical Symposium. To further our reach and contribute to positive change, Lam Capital sponsored our second startup pitch competition with the theme, “Engineering a Greener Fab.”
  • The Science Based Targets initiative approved the company’s near-term greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets, making Lam the first U.S.-based semiconductor equipment manufacturer to receive this approval.
  • Lam joined chip industry leaders to form the Semiconductor Climate Consortium, the first global, ecosystem-wide collaborative of semiconductor companies dedicated to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Lam became a member of the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative that calls on companies to act responsibly and collaborate to solve the world’s most pressing challenges.
  • And for the second year in a row, Lam was named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for North America, a ranking by S&P Global that reflects the top 20% of sustainability performers among the 600 largest U.S. and Canadian companies in the S&P Global Broad Market Index.

As we head into 2023, we are focused on meaningful initiatives, continuing to ensure our targets are aligned with current science, and collaborating with organizations around the world to apply best practices. We look forward to sharing our progress along the way as we forge ahead on our ESG journey.

Editor’s note: This article first appeared in the 2023 3D InCites Yearbook. Read the entire issue here

Shawn Covell

Shawn Covell is the head of ESG strategy at Lam Research. She has extensive experience…

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