ST is publishing today its 2019 Sustainability Report (2018 Performance), which delves into the company’s social, ethical, and environmental initiatives, achievements and goals. To better draw a comprehensive picture of ST’s performance in these areas, the report looks at five major pillars: the company’s values (1), the way these values translate into our products (2), how they drive our employees and company culture (3), how they minimize our impact on the environment (4), and how they help us make the world a better place (5). Moreover, the report shows how we took 10 of the 17 sustainable development goals set by the United Nations to make them a reality in our everyday operations and how they shaped the new goals for 2025.
The New Voice of a Longstanding Commitment to Sustainability
This year marks the 22nd annual edition of our sustainability report, demonstrating our dedication to all the tenants of corporate social responsibility long before it was a popular buzz word in the media. Pasquale Pistorio, a former ST CEO, famously coined the phrase “green is black” as the company ranked first in 2000 among semiconductor firms in eco-efficiency. Carlo Bozotti, the previous CEO, announced for the first time in 2010 a reduction of ST’s energy consumption by 30% year-over-year. And now, Jean-Marc Chery, who became President and CEO in 2018, uses his first Foreword in ST’s Report to not only carry the torch of his predecessors but offer a modern vision of sustainability.
With his highly symbolic address in this year’s assessment, Jean-Marc Chery offers answers to the recent challenges posed by denser urban areas with a more in-depth focus on connectivity, smarter infrastructures, and the democratization of machine learning. He also tackles the new demands for greater mobility and higher energy conservation with new technologies such as Silicon Carbide (SiC) or Gallium Nitride (GaN) devices. His vision also boosts ST’s emphasis on gender equality as well as its global educational initiatives for an ever more inclusive and equitable corporate culture and DNA. Let’s, therefore, look at some of the key aspects of this year’s report to see how ST’s leadership is making sustainability and social responsibilities an integral part of its operations.
The Environmental Responsibility of Our Operations
As we work on technologies that will impact the next generation of innovators, it is imperative to care for the planet that our children will inherit. As such, 2018 was a landmark year for our environmental initiatives. We reduced our greenhouse gas emissions by 15% and our energy consumption by more than 19% compared to 2016. The majority of direct emissions come from the use of perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) which reached their lowest levels since 2010 and are still going down as we are pledging one of the most significant drops in PFC emission in the company’s history by 2020. We are also committed to preserving natural resources. For instance, ST decreased its water consumption by 16% in 2018, compared to the 2016 baseline, reaching our lowest level ever, and we recycled 41% of our water by redirecting to other systems, such as cooling towers, for instance.
2018 was a decisive year because of our commitment to sponsor various initiatives, such as the CleanTech World Tour. We also offset 42% of our direct emission with reforestation projects that planted 9,000 hectares of forests around the globe over the years. We are also coming up with innovative solutions. For instance, our Crolles site in France takes the silicon scraps it discards after cutting wafers or rejecting defective dies and sends them to a partner that integrates them in aluminum ingots that will serve in the manufacturing of wheel rims and crankcases for the automotive industry. For security purposes, we monitor these pieces of silicon all the way to the burning process, and it shows that our conservation initiatives extend far beyond our company and even our industry.
The Inclusion, Diversity, Safety, and Security of Our Workforce
With 46,000 employees worldwide, 7,400 of them working in research and development, we strive to create an inclusive and diverse work environment. For instance, women now represent 35 % of our workforce, 200 of them took part in our Women in Leadership program since 2015, and we are committing to having more than 20% of women in all levels of management by 2025. We also increased the number of employees with a disability by 5% and continue to offer sensitivity and awareness training to ensure that our people understand the inherent power and advantages of a more inclusive workforce. Overall, 75% of employees recommend ST as a great place to work, which is nine points higher than the industry’s average.
Beyond inclusion and diversity, safety and security are paramount. The incident severity rate declined to 1.80 days lost in 2018 per 100 employees, which is well below the 2.20 rate we had initially set for this year. We also promised increasing transparency and accountability. For the first time in 2018, organizations monitoring labor and human rights audited 46% of our manufacturing sites with our Calamba site in the Philippines receiving the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA) Platinum recognition for its perfect score. We are also aiming to have these organizations audit 100% of our manufacturing sites by 2019. Furthermore, to ensure that our employees feel safe or learn more about our code of conduct, among other things, we offer the ST Integrity applications for iOS and Android and have a Misconduct Reporting Hotline with essential resources as well as a platform to speak up without fear of reprisal.
The Integrity, Responsibility, and Education of Our Generation
Our commitment to social and environmental responsibilities extend far beyond the walls of our offices. For instance, 50% of our new products are responsible products, meaning that they improve the quality of life, increase power efficiency, or help generate renewable energy, among other things. It’s an improvement compared to 43% in 2017, and it will continue to shape our roadmaps to ensure that we bring meaningful innovations to our customers and end users. Similarly, our products are 100% conflict-mineral free, 87% of our indirect service suppliers at risk received a social audit in 2018, and we aim to audit 100% of our suppliers at risk by 2025.
We are also aiming to have STEM education partnerships in 20 countries by that date because beyond our responsibility to lead the industry in more transparency and integrity we have a calling to empower more students of all ages with the knowledge and expertise that will empower their communities. We saw how ST Technologies in Universities brought innovations that few thought possible just a couple of years ago, like the first machine learning projects ever to use a SensorTile module. It is thus our mission to extend these initiatives to more countries to ensure that together “we improve everybody’s life”.