At Veeco, we develop tools and processes integral to fabricating and packaging advanced semiconductor devices. As a vital link in the global semiconductor supply chain, we understand the importance of sustainability to the entire semiconductor ecosystem. As such, we are committed to advancing our corporate sustainability efforts by paying close attention to our environmental, social, and governmental (ESG) impacts and taking active, intentional steps to improve. Our goal is to deliver products and technologies that help our customers achieve their manufacturing and time-to-market goals in a globally responsible manner.

New Facility Helps Drive Veeco's ESG Progress
At Veeco, we honor our commitment to community service. Here we are working with Habitat for Humanity.

The recently-published fourth edition of our Corporate Sustainability Report, reflecting 2022 data, provides an in-depth look at how we fulfill our goal of making a material difference for the environment worldwide. The report defines our ESG progress, including governance and ethics, and summarizes our product, supply chain, and environmental responsibilities. We strive to meet our customers’ principal concerns – ongoing improvements in power, performance, and cost of ownership – while pursuing our environmental goals related to climate change and reducing, energy, waste, and water usage. In the past year, we continued to make progress in these efforts.

Building Toward the Future

Our new, state-of-the-art facility in San Jose, CA, completed in 2021, was designed to meet the growing demand for our laser annealing and advanced packaging lithography technologies and is a vital contributor to our current and future sustainability advances. The 70,000-square-foot, SEMI-compliant manufacturing space is ISO 14001 certified for its environmental management system. While doubling the manufacturing capacity of our previous facility, we designed the building to reduce energy usage and water usage to drive down our carbon footprint and minimize the amount of water withdrawn from the public utility. The energy-efficient design of the mechanical systems will reduce our operational costs and our total energy consumption. 

Our San Jose, CA, and Somerset, NJ facilities are energy-intensive sites. We use building automation systems to track and optimize the electricity consumption of HVAC, pumps, motors, and other equipment. Our location-based energy efficiency initiatives are essential to reducing our environmental footprint and utility costs and modeling successful deployment measures for our other facilities.

Tracking our energy data is critical to controlling costs and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. At Veeco, we are improving our GHG accounting and operational efficiencies and developing a climate change strategy to reduce emissions. We’ve also identified primary climate risks, opportunities, and targets. Key goals include:

  • Reducing normalized emissions from heating and purchased electricity by 10% in the U.S. by 2025.
  • Fulfilling at least 50% of our U.S. facilities’ energy requirements using renewable sources by 2030 (this amount totaled 40% in 2022). 
  • Accounting for emissions and energy footprint at 100% of our global locations (baseline = 94%).

We expect significant future improvements in our GHG emissions now that we have fully transitioned to our new San Jose facility.

ESG Progress on Waste and Water Management

We are committed to protecting our employees, local communities, and the environment, which includes proper waste management. We focus on waste data for our U.S. locations, which comprise 93% of our total occupied square footage. In 2020, we set internal targets for hazardous waste reduction, aiming for a 2% reduction at our San Jose facility by the end of 2021, using 2019 as a baseline. We are proud to report that by the end of 2020, the facility far exceeded this goal, reducing hazardous waste by about 25%. Non-hazardous waste and recycling efforts are also proactively managed and optimized by our facilities teams.

We also place great importance on responsibly managing water – a key vital resource. Our facilities monitor our water withdrawal and usage. Compared to other companies in the semiconductor industry, our water usage is significantly below the benchmarks. While a typical manufacturing facility uses 7 to 15 megaliters of ultrapure water per day, our average daily water withdrawal in 2022 was 0.14 megaliters.

Water-stress levels are another area of concern. Water stress measures the ratio of total water withdrawals to the available renewable surface and groundwater supplies; higher values mean greater competition among withdrawers. In the U.S., we source less than 5% of our withdrawn water from regions experiencing high water stress. Our Plainview, NY, facility is our only U.S. location in a high-stress region. With the initiatives we’re putting in place this year, we expect a 10% reduction in water consumption at our Plainview, NY and Somerset, NJ sites.

The Bottom Line

George Bernard Shaw once said, “Progress is impossible without change.” We know that we cannot look to the future without pursuing programs and policies that will help ensure we contribute to the betterment of not just technology but its impact on our environment and our local communities. We look forward to reporting our ESG efforts’ positive progress this year when we issue our 2024 Sustainability Report.

Mateja Tokic

Mateja Tokic is Veeco’s ESG Analyst, where she works with the company’s cross-sectional ESG Committee…

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