Sustainability has been embedded in our business practices for more than 25 years and is a major factor in our effectiveness and long-term success. It is integrated throughout our entire business, allowing us to maximize opportunities in areas such as Sustainable Technology, Innovation, and People Engagement, as well as helping us to predict and mitigate risks in our operations and business performance. Sustainability topics are diverse but all support STMicroelectronics’ vision to make a positive contribution to people’s lives. They are described in our 2020 sustainability report, readable online here, and published as a downloadable full PDF or summary version.
“People are ST’s foundation,” highlights ST President and CEO, Jean-Marc Chery, in his foreword to this year’s ST sustainability report, the 23rd year the report has been published. Jean-Marc credits the employees for their contributions in making ST, and the technology products it makes, sustainable. The fact that 77% of ST staff, when recently surveyed, recommend ST as a great place to work, and that, on average, each individual undertakes 50 hours of training, confirms that people are very much the foundation of the company.
The ST sustainability strategy and program priorities are shaped by how we live our values and are based on putting people first, improving everybody’s life, and protecting the environment. Our programs are deployed across all our sites, by a network of over 100 dedicated sustainability champions, who are key to turning our commitments into reality. As Jean-Louis Champseix, Group Vice President, Corporate Sustainability, and Staffing highlights in the report, “Sustainability is a never-ending journey for us … thanks to the initiatives we put in place 25 years ago, we have reduced our energy consumption by 57%, reduced our water consumption by 76%, and our accident rate by 83%”.
Putting people first
ST employs 46,000 staff world-wide, encompassing 105 nationalities. All of ST’s eleven manufacturing sites have been audited by the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA) against their stringent requirements for labor and human rights standards. Three of the sites have achieved RBA Platinum recognition. ST strives to be recognized as a labor and human rights leader, to achieve full gender equality and applies a zero-tolerance to forced labor. From a diversity and inclusion perspective, the 2025 goal is to have more than 20% of women across all management levels. During 2019, compared to 2018, we made good progress, increasing the number of women employed in experienced management roles from 16% to 18%, and in senior management roles from 12% to 13%. There are four women on the ST Supervisory Board compared to 3 in 2018.
Overall, we aspire to offer our employees the very best employment experience wherever they work. For 2025 we are aiming for a rise of 10 points in employee engagement above the country norms. In 2019, this goal was already achieved in seven of the eleven countries where we have major operations.
Sustainable technologies, innovations, and applications
At ST, product stewardship is enacted through three principle aspects; legislation compliance including the social and ethical impacts of the products, ecologically focused design such as power efficiency and low-carbon emissions, and an emphasis on bringing sustainable planet-friendly, and human-welfare benefits. These indicators are tracked from the initial design concepts through to production in the ST Project Management System. The goal is that the products we design have the most positive impact on the planet and society.
In 2019, we grew the percentage of new responsible, sustainable products from 50% in 2018 to 62%. Recent responsible product innovations include the introduction of efficient power devices based on wide bandgap process technologies of Silicon Carbide (SiC) and Gallium Nitride (GaN). Capable of operating at much higher switching frequencies, the products we make using wide bandgap materials are more efficient, compact, and lighter than earlier power conversion semiconductor technologies.
Working with our supply chain partners to shape the future
With a significant and diverse global supply chain, covering equipment and material suppliers, manufacturing subcontractors, and facilitates management, ST is committed to engaging with suppliers that respect people and conduct their businesses with integrity and excellence. Our 2025 goal is to conduct social responsibility audits with all our suppliers at risk, and in 2019 we achieved 18% or 88 of the 500 eligible suppliers, bringing the total to 177 responsibility audits since 2015. We are diligently working with a prioritized list of suppliers to audit, based on the work they do, the materials they provide, and the volume of business conducted. For our upstream supply chain involved in sourcing raw minerals, we ensure all suppliers conform to our responsible mineral sourcing assurance process through our participation with the Responsible Mineral Initiative (RMI). All 253 smelters providing tin, tungsten, tantalum, and gold (3TG) to our supply chain had valid audits at the end of 2019. We partner with the RBA and use their standards and methodologies across our supply chain. Our 2019 goal was to have more than 90% of 450 eligible suppliers sign an agreement to comply with the RBA code of conduct. Our continued efforts through 2019 saw us achieve 93% of suppliers sign the agreement.
Protecting the environment
At ST, we continue to strive towards the highest standards of environmental protection. From our use of water, waste materials, replacing the hazardous materials we use, to increasing our use of renewable energy, we are diligent across the business. A notable achievement occurred during 2019 when we reached the 2025 target to reduce our energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 20%, surpassing it by 1 %. Also, in 2019 we were on target to reach our 2025 goal to reuse and recycle 95% of our waste. In the last 25 years, the amount of water we use has reduced by 76%, and 41% of the water we use is recycled or reused.
“Sustainability matters” states ST President and CEO Jean-Marc Chery. At ST, we recognize the duty of care and responsibilities we have to our stakeholders, our people, society, and the environment in delivering a sustainable future.
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