Semiconductor manufacturing processes use a number of chemicals that may present health, safety and environmental hazards. ST therefore considers chemical management a key issue. We have focused our efforts in this area on anticipating legislation, reducing usage and substituting chemicals to ensure employees’ health and safety and the environment are adequately protected.
ST’s adopts ISO 140011 and ISO 450012 standards throughout its manufacturing activities and supply chain in order to guarantee compliance with applicable regulations on chemicals use and product chemical content.
As defined in our Sustainability charter, we are committed to reducing and managing the environmental, health and safety risks related to the chemicals and materials used in the manufacturing process, by basing the selection, handling and substitution on the precautionary principles.
ST requires all suppliers and subcontractors to comply with ST’s hazardous substances requirements in addition to applicable legal requirements. ST’s EHS regulated Substances list is compiled using several standards, regulations (REACH3, RoHS4) and customer requirements. It is updated on an annual basis. We perform detailed checks on all our suppliers and request compliance evidence in the form of certificates of analysis, material safety data sheets and due diligence surveys.
Manufacturing hazardous substance management
In addition to new chemical evaluations, we also conduct regular internal audits and risk assessments to ensure that the storage, distribution and use of chemicals and the waste treatment of spent chemicals are properly managed, in line with risk prevention procedures. We have been working closely with our suppliers for over 20 years to implement closed chemical delivery systems on site, in order to reduce employee and environmental exposure. Each manufacturing site has an emergency response team that is trained and certified to use firefighting equipment, breathing apparatus and personal protective equipment.
Meeting customer requirements
ST’s Materials Declaration Process is in place to externally report on the chemical composition of all our products, and to trace levels of regulated and exempted substances, according to the IPC 17525 standard and applicable customer and regulatory requirements like RoHS and REACH. (Material Declarations are accessible from each product page).
Reducing usage of Substances of Very High Concern (SVHCs)
We constantly endeavor to minimize the use of chemicals, where possible researching safer substitutes for the most hazardous ones. These considerations are taken into account as early as possible in our development and purchasing processes, for example during manufacturing process set up. ST is continuously looking for ways to optimize manufacturing processes and modify hardware to reduce chemicals exposure and usage.
Chemicals end-of-life management
Infrastrucure to facilate chemicals recycling has been embedded in the design of our more recently built sites. Where feasible, separate collection or waste water treatment facilities are available, either at dedicated on-site or external plants, to safely process substances released by the factory before final discharge. ST has invested in abatement systems in Front-end sites which are ST’s largest chemicals consumers. These systems use incinerators and scrubbers to treat air exhaust gases. We have been involved in voluntary industry programs to reduce fluorinated gas emissions, achieving outstanding results.
Product hazardous substances management
ST is currently strengthening its management of product hazardous substances. This aims to align with the IECQ6 QC 080000 Hazardous Substances Process Management System Requirements (HSPM) throughout the design, development, engineering, purchase, production, storage and dispatch of products.
Contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals
Our commitments and programs related to Chemicals contribute to
SDG target 3.9 - Substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution and contamination.
SDG target 6.3 - Improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally.
SDG target 12.4 - Achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reduce their release to air, water and soil in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment.
More details on our programs and performance are available in our latest Sustainability report.
1 ISO 14001 = Environmental Management Systems Requirements
2 ISO 45001 = Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems Requirement
3 REACH = Registration Evaluation and Restriction of Chemicals
4 RoHS = Restriction of Hazardous Substances
5 IPC = Association Connecting Electronics Industries®
6 IECQ = International Electrotechnical Commission Quality Assessment System for Electronic Components