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Global Warming Prevention through Energy Conservation

To prevent global warming, the Renesas Electronics group in Japan actively takes part in the energy saving activities of the semiconductor industry. To achieve the target of the electric appliance and electronics industry and the reduction target of the Energy Conservation Act, the group continuously promotes energy conservation activities.


Reducing Energy

The Renesas Electronics group in Japan has participated in the Commitment to a Low Carbon Society, which Japan's electrical and electronics industries has undertaken since FY 2013. As a low-carbon society realization plan, we plan to reduce energy per unit of sales volume by 1% annually by 2020 with reference to the value in 2012. In 2020, the energy will be reduced to 92.27% of the reference value.


Results of FY 2018 Reductions

For performance for fiscal 2018, we were able to reduce energy consumption by 36% compared to the base year and by two points compared to 2017. The effects of various energy saving measures and concentration of factories are reducing the energy consumption per sales.

In fiscal 2019, we intend to continue promoting energy saving measures, to focus on the efficient use of energy that is appropriate for our business activities, and to promote efforts to further reduce energy consumption and prevent global warming.

image, Energy consumption per unit sales

Energy consumption per unit sales

*FY 2012 to 2015: April to March (12 months),
  FY 2016: April to December (9 months),
  FY 2017 to 2018: January to December (12 months)

Main measures to reduce energy consumption

On the production lines, we are implementing activities that aim to reduce specific energy consumption by an average of more than 1% per year over the five-year period in line with the energy consumption reduction goals specified in the Energy Saving Act.

Specifically, we will implement measures to make equipment more efficient and achieve better inverter control and measures related to natural energy and the heat of vaporization in a systematic manner while giving due consideration to the effects of energy saving and investment. Moreover, we will optimize the operation of facilities according to changes in production volume.

Item Details
  1. High efficiency of equipment
  • Refrigerator replacement, optimal control
  • Compressor replacement, machine number control
  • Boiler replacement
  • Dry pump replacement
  1. Motor inverter control (rotation control)
Air conditioner fan, various pumps
  1. Use of natural energy
    Energy reuse
    Vaporization energy etc.
  • Winter free cooling
  • Waste heat recovery and reuse
  • Water spray humidification

Examples of the introduction of energy-saving measures

Reducing GHG Emissions

The Renesas Electronics Group uses PFC*1 gas, which is a greenhouse gas, primarily as a reaction chamber cleaning gas for semiconductor production processes. These gases do not readily decompose, and since their global warming potential (GWP*2) is between 7,000-20,000 or even higher, it is critical to reduce these emissions. The Group has therefore set PFC gas emission reduction targets and is actively working to help prevent global warming. Methods of reducing the greenhouse effect of PFC gases include 1) switching to gases with a lower GWP, 2) optimizing processes to reduce the volume of PFC gases used, and 3) installing abatement systems that remove PFC gases to break them down. The Group has been developing technology to cut emissions to 90% or lower in 2010 as compared to 1995, using a combination of these three techniques.

In 2018, we promoted the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions based on previously set targets. The volume of PFC gas emissions per wafer area was reduced by 0.031 points compared to FY 2015, even though there was a difference in production volume. The total amount of emissions was approximately 17% of FY 1995. For this year, achievements have been steady: a combustion-type detoxifying apparatus*3 that decomposes PFC gas was introduced to the RSMC Saijo factory, which resulted in a reduction of PFC emissions by 2%. We plan to further reduce emissions in 2019 and beyond.

*1 PFC : Perfluoro Compounds : (The semiconductor industry has specified CHF3, CF4, C2F6, C3F8, C4F8, SF6 and NF3 for emissions reduction.)

*2 GWP : Global Warming Potential : a coefficient indicating how much a given mass of greenhouse gas is estimated to contribute to global warming (CO2=1)

*3 A combustion-type detoxifying apparatus that decomposes all PFC gas emissions emitted from more than one set of manufacturing equipment

image, GHG Emissions Reduction

GHG Emissions Reduction Image

Seven gases subject to reduction by the semiconductor industry

Seven gases subject to reduction by the semiconductor industry※4

*4 2006 IPCC Guidelines (IPCC: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)

image, PFC Gases Purchase Volume and Emissions Trends

*From CY1995 to CY2018: January to December

PFC Gases Purchase Volume and Emissions Trends

Examples of efforts to reduce emissions: RSMC Saijo factory

image: Combustion-type detoxifying apparatus at the RSMC Saijo factory

Combustion-type abatement system at the RSMC Saijo factory

image: Structural example of a PFC detoxifying apparatus (combustion type)

Structural example of a PFC abatement system (combustion type) [Provided by TAIYO NIPPON SANSO CORPORATION]

Chemical Substance Management

The Group conducts various assessments of the chemical substances it uses, based on its chemical substance database compiled through green procurement activities and the acquisition of information about related laws and regulations. The Group strives to accurately understand and reduce the total volume of chemical substances used and manages the volume of hazardous chemical substances used and their emissions. In this manner, we are pursuing research and development for green products and eco-factories. With regard to substances subject to the PRTR*1 Law and VOCs*2, high balance management is accurately carried out even with trace amounts, not only balance results are reported to the government, but activities for substitution of chemical substances and reduce emissions are analyzed.

*1 Pollutant Release and Transfer Register Law: (A law concerning the monitoring of emissions of specified chemical substances into the environment and their management)

*2 Volatile Organic Compounds

*The numbers show the total of 12 months from January to December.
The numbers are rounded off to the nearest ton.
The numbers in parentheses show the bottom line for fiscal 2017.

image, Input and output of PRTR-regulated Chemical Substances

Input and output of PRTR-regulated Chemical Substances in FY 2018

*3 Includes waste for recycling at the Company’s expense

Reducing VOC Emissions

In the Renesas Electronics Group, VOCs such as isopropyl alcohol and xylene are released from factories only after they have been rendered as harmless as possible by equipment that processes organic gas emissions. Along with this, we optimize production processes and use production equipment effectively as we endeavor constantly to lower VOC emissions.

VOC emissions for FY 2018 were reduced to 27% the amount of FY 2000. This showed that our measures so far have produced favorable results. We will actively continue making efforts for further reductions in VOC emissions through the optimization of our fabrication process.

*FY 2000 to 2015: April to March (12 months),
  FY 2016: April to December (9 months),
  FY 2017 to 2018: January to December (12 months)

VOC Emissions Trend

Handling of organic fluorine compounds

The Renesas Group uses materials that contain organic fluorine compounds as surfactants in the semiconductor manufacturing process. In recent years, concerns have been growing about the properties of organic fluorine compounds, such as persistence in the environment, bioaccumulation potential, and long distance mobility, and regulations concerning organic fluorine compounds have been tightened internationally through the POPs Convention*1. In response to such a social context, the Group has been gradually shifting to materials that have less of an impact on the environment in collaboration with the Technology Department.

*1 POPs Convention: Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants

Conserving Water Resources

The Renesas Electronics group in Japan promoted water conservation by recycling and reusing water. The volume of water supplied in FY 2018 was 16,371,000 m3 and the recycling rate was 36.8%.

image, Domestic Water Consumption and Recycling Rate

Total volume of water required = volume of water recycled + volume of water procured externally

Water recycling rate = volume of water recycled ÷ total volume of water required × 100

* FY 2012 to 2015: April to March (12 months), FY 2016: April to December (9 months), FY 2017 to 2018 January to December (12 months)

Domestic Water Consumption and Recycling Rate

Environmental Measures in Logistics Operations

The Renesas Electronics group in Japan implemented a variety of different environmental measures for its logistics operations. These included energy reduction for the transport of products and waste, reduction of packing materials for products, reuse of packing materials, and the switching of company vehicles to fuel-efficient cars. Pursuant to the Act on the Rational Use of Energy, which stipulates specified consignor obligations, we promoted the reduction of CO2 emissions in our logistics operations. We will continue our efforts to reduce energy use in logistics operations in FY 2019 and beyond.

Fiscal Year Renesas Electronics Totals for Each Group Company
2014 7.65 million ton-km 5.05 million ton-km
2015 6.36 million ton-km 5.02 million ton-km
2016 3.87 million ton-km 2.91 million ton-km
2017 4.72 million ton-km 3.65 million ton-km
2018 3.91 million ton-km 3.33 million ton-km

*FY 2014 to 2015: April to March (12 months),
  FY 2016: April to December (9 months),
  FY 2017 to 2018: January to December (12 months)

Domestic shipping volume

Waste Management

The Renesas Electronics Group in Japan promoted not only the recycling of waste but also the suppression of waste emissions.

The actual amount of emissions in FY 2018 was 15,285 tons. And we are working to reduce it every year.

Additionally, we practiced strict legal compliance and continued to periodically visit our industrial waste processing contractors to ensure that they were processing waste appropriately.

The Group practices strict storage, management and reporting of equipment that uses PCBs*1, in accordance with the law. Furthermore, we aim for complete disposal in a safe and secure manner within the legally mandated period. We are promoting disposal according to the basic policy of the Japanese government, through entrustment of disposal of high concentration PCB waste to the Japan Environmental Storage & Safety Corporation (JESCO), and entrustment of disposal of waste containing low concentrations of PCB to accredited detoxification facilities.

*1 PCB:Polychlorinated Biphenyl

image, Transition of amount of waste

*FY 2012 to 2015: April to March (12 months),
  FY 2016: April to December (9 months),
  FY 2017 to 2018: January to December (12 months)

Transition of amount of waste

Protecting the Ozone Layer

The Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer classifies ODSs*1 into Class I (CFCs*2, etc.) and Class II (HCFCs*3). The Group has completely eliminated the use of all of these from our production processes.

Furthermore, we are systematically reducing the use of CFCs used as refrigerants in chillers, refrigerators, air conditioners and other equipment and replacing them with alternative substances in line with Montreal Protocol program. We are also recovering ODSs when affected equipment is scrapped and making sure these substances are destroyed.

*1 Ozone-depleting substances    *2 Chlorofluorocarbons    *3 Hydrochlorofluorocarbons

Preventing Soil Pollution

If hazardous chemicals penetrate into the soil, they can accumulate in the soil and impact human health, crops, and the ecosystem. Therefore, the Group implements measures in a systematic manner each year to prevent the penetration of hazardous chemicals into the soil. For fiscal 2018, the Group implemented the following measures to prevent soil contamination:

  • Construction work to prevent leakage from waste liquid collection facilities (Kawashiri factory and Saijo factory)
  • Construction work to prevent the leakage of medical solutions (Saijo factory)
  • Construction work to prevent underground seepage (Naka factory, Musashi site)

image: Construction work to prevent underground seepage (Musashi site) before construction

Construction work to prevent underground seepage (Musashi site) before construction

image: After construction

After construction with placing waterproof concrete