2021 Sustainability Report: To improve the accessibility of our content, please find the audio version of this blog post.
ST recently released its 2021 Sustainability Report detailing its 2020 performance during a symbolic year marred by a global pandemic. However, it was important for our teams to bring perspective. Too often, the media focalizes on the impact of the virus but ignores everything else. The report tried to solve this by showing how ST dealt with unprecedented circumstances while pursuing the goals we had set for that year. For instance, ST enabled 15,000 employees to work from home while ensuring the safety of those running our fabs. As we strived to innovate, we made sure that more workers could work safely, and we continue to study more flexible arrangements.
To be approachable and meaningful, the Sustainability report lists practical steps our teams took to respond to our employees’ and communities’ needs. For instance, we brought, and are still getting, vaccines to multiple sites to protect our workforce and their loved ones. ST also donated protective equipment and ventilators to hospitals to assist our heavily impacted regions. Similarly, we gave more than 700 computers and 60 mobile phones to isolated families, schools, and non-profits to help them deal with remote operations.
2021 Sustainability Report: Carbon Neutral by 2027
The 2021 Sustainability Report is the first to record ST’s commitment to carbon neutrality by 2027. The goal aligns with COP21 agreements, the United Nations’ framework on climate change adopted in Paris in 2015. We are also one of the first semiconductor companies to take such a public stand. Concretely, one of the ways we are working to meet this goal is by optimizing manufacturing processes.
For instance, the industry must find alternatives to perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), which contribute to greenhouse effects. Hence, ST is currently optimizing its fabs to consume fewer PFCs, replacing the gas with more environmentally friendly alternatives, and equipping infrastructures with abatement systems that burn the PFCs to prevent their release into the atmosphere. These measures have already proved successful since we have cut down PFC emissions by 26% since 2016. Similarly, we are conducting energy efficiency audits on all our sites to ensure we use resources responsibly. Ultimately, ST partners with wind farms, and invests in solar panels, green commuting, and reforestation programs while reducing employees’ travels.
2021 Sustainability Report: Meaningful Diversity
Another important aspect of the sustainability report is ST’s commitment to inclusion and diversity. A lot of our efforts last year focused on gender equality and developing an inclusive culture. These measures translated into the promotion of more women in leadership positions and the hiring of a more diverse workforce. ST will also continue to promote science and engineering to young girls to encourage them to pursue a career in STEM. Moreover, we are working on ways to communicate better the achievements of talented women currently working at ST by identifying role models that will inspire our teams and partners. Finally, we recognize the importance of continuing our unconscious bias training to ensure all employees can feel safe and thrive.
The 2021 Sustainability report thus reads very differently from the first one we published nearly 25 years ago. The first report primarily focused on ST’s environmental impact. Today, the document tackles a much broader range of topics and initiatives. Put simply, ST understands that being a positive influence demands a hard look on our carbon emissions as well as many other social and institutional aspects that affect our people and their communities.