Texan by Nature is excited to recognize Texas Instruments (TI) as a 2021 TxN 20 honoree for their leadership in conservation and sustainability. TI’s commitment to conservation, their projects, programs, best practices, and lessons learned are an example and inspiration for us all.
Honoree Industry and Size: Technology – Mid
Texas Instruments is a global semiconductor company that designs, manufactures, tests, and sells analog and embedded processing chips. Our approximately 80,000 products help over 100,000 customers efficiently manage power, accurately sense and transmit data, and provide the core control or processing in their designs, going into markets such as industrial, automotive, personal electronics, communications equipment and enterprise systems. For decades, we have operated with a passion to create a better world by making electronics more affordable through semiconductors. We were pioneers in the transition of the world from vacuum tubes to transistors and then to integrated circuits (ICs) – and we’ve been advancing IC technology and the ability to reliably produce ICs in high volumes for decades. Each generation of innovation builds upon the last to make technology smaller, more efficient, more reliable, and more affordable – making it possible for semiconductors to go into electronics everywhere. We think of this as Engineering Progress. It’s what we do and have been doing for decades.
What is TI’s conservation and sustainability mission and why is it important to your culture?
Our company’s founders had the foresight to know that building a great company requires a special culture to thrive for the long term. For years, we’ve run our business and invested in our people and communities with three overarching ambitions in mind:
We take pride in our commitment to being a good corporate citizen – including environmental, social and governance, and sustainability priorities – which impact our communities and the world in two ways. First, our ambitions guide us to operate in a socially and environmentally responsible way. Second, our products help reduce environmental impacts in a growing list of ways.
How is conservation and sustainability a part of TI’s business strategy?
We’re committed to reducing the environmental impacts of our operations. Our company designs, manufactures, assembles, and tests ~40 billion chips each year requiring the use of raw materials, chemicals, energy, and water. We have a long-standing commitment to conserving natural resources, reducing consumption and mitigating environmental impact. To continuously improve our environment, safety, and health performance, we set goals to make our manufacturing processes water- and energy-efficient, and we reuse and recycle materials across all operations. Each year, we invest in controls – from personal protective equipment, to emissions abatement, to water treatment technologies – to protect TIers and the environment from harm.
What are TI’s short and long-term goals as they relate to conservation and sustainability?
We have a longstanding commitment to conserving natural resources, thereby reducing consumption and mitigating our environmental impact. Our goal of zero wasted resources fosters the sustainable use of natural resources, the efficient use of water, energy and raw materials, and the prevention of pollution. TI works to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in manufacturing processes, and evaluates the impact of potential climate-related risks in business strategy, planning and operations to safeguard TI’s long-term business resilience. Over the last five years, TI saved $31.6 million in energy costs. Through innovative practices we focus on continuous improvement of our goals:
Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions:
* Normalized, or per-chip efficiency data, is a way to develop a baseline and track changes in energy, water, GHG and material consumption based on the number of chips manufactured each year.
Who at TI is leading your conservation and sustainability efforts and what are some examples of employee engagement in conservation and sustainability at your company?
Every leader at TI is responsible for setting targets and goals within their business that align to the overarching values and ambitions. These goals – including greenhouse gas emission reductions, increased water conservation, and others – are reviewed by senior leadership and executed by the responsible teams. Senior leadership, under the direction of our Board members, sets policies and practices regarding the risks, challenges, and opportunities facing the company, including climate related issues and risks.
In all of our locations around the world, employees are encouraged to reuse, recycle, and compost to reduce our trash, as well as participate in community cleanup events. Examples include:
Reusing Plastic Waste to Create a Community Park in the Philippines:
In Baguio City, Philippines, volunteers from our company and their family members took on a year-long project to transform a trash dump into a park. Situated behind Bonifacio Elementary School, the park is a new place for students to play, plant flowers and vegetables, and learn about ecology and entrepreneurship. But this isn’t a typical park – it’s built with plastic eco-bricks that were collected by TI employees. They contributed more than 2,000 1.5-liter plastic bottles, each jam-packed with non-biodegradable pieces of plastic waste. With help from families, friends and neighbors, TI employees spent thousands of hours in their spare time collecting and filling the clear and green-tinted vessels with chopped-up plastic shopping bags, plastic packaging waste, and other down-cycled bits to create solid, heavy eco-bricks.
“Saving and stuffing 2,000 empty soda bottles did more than just keep 4 tons of trash out of landfills and off the beaches. The Philippines is an archipelago of 7,100 islands in the Pacific Ocean. We see the difference when we dispose of plastic properly, instead of continuously throwing away plastic, the message is to be more conscious of how we use and dispose of it.”
-Nicole Dela Cruz, an engineer at our company who spearheaded the effort
Tree Planting at TI’s Headquarters in Dallas:
Nearly 600 trees (Vitex, Crape Myrtle, Chinkapin Oak, Pond Cypress, and Live Oak) were planted to replace more than 250 mature native trees lost from two large storms that ravaged TI’s Dallas headquarters in 2019.
“The look and the shade from the trees will bring a softness to the building architecture. TIers will enjoy them for years to come.”
-Tim Day, Facilities Technician
Conserving Coastal Wetlands in Shenzhen, China:
A team of TI employees in China participated in an event with the Shenzhen Mangrove Wetlands Conservation Foundation, a charitable and volunteering organization that is devoted to the conservation of coastal wetlands as represented by the mangroves in China. Thirty volunteers contributed a total of 190 hours to clean up marsh lands around China to remove invasive species.
What conservation and sustainability programs and projects does TI lead and participate in?
Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions: By year-end 2020, we reduced emissions by 22.4%, exceeding our goal.
Energy: By year-end 2020, we reduced energy intensity levels per chip by 40.6% from our 2010 baseline. From 2016 to 2020, we conserved 1.3 million British thermal units (MMBtu) of energy – the equivalent of powering more than 35,000 homes for a year.
Waste: By year-end 2020, we diverted 89.9% of waste (~42,220 metric tons) from landfills through reuse and recycling. Since 2005, we have reduced waste per chip by 65%. We did this by selling surplus chemicals; recycling certain wastes for use in energy recovery; and recycling scrap wood, paper, glass, metals and organic materials.
Packaging and Shipping: In 2020, TI improved the sustainability of shipments from its factories to its assembly/test sites by shipping one wafer pack of 25 wafers instead of two wafer packs of 13 wafers. This helped us reduce plastic packing material by 50%.
Water: In 2020, we reduced water consumption 4.4% year over year, exceeding our 2.6% goal. Year-over-year we continue to exceed our water use reduction goals.
Water is an essential part of manufacturing semiconductors and TI is committed to using it responsibly and efficiently. To save water, TI implements conservation projects and reuses water in its operations.
Specific actions we take to conserve water globally include:
In 2020, the execution of 72 projects across our organization enabled us to save over 206 million gallons. Across the organization we reused 27%, or 1.85 billion gallons, of all water consumed in 2020. For example, we reuse water from manufacturing processes in cooling towers, scrubbers, and irrigation systems to reduce or eliminate the amount of city water these systems need to operate. Our commitment to reuse, reclaim, and reduce water consumption has resulted in conserving nearly 1.4 billion gallons of water over the past five years – enough to fill more than 2,100 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
How do you see the future of conservation and sustainability evolving, and what role will TI play in that progress?
As our world becomes increasingly more intelligent, efficient, and connected, semiconductors will continue to play a key role in supporting conservation and sustainability efforts by developing technology that is smaller, more efficient, more reliable, and more affordable. Through decades of progress, our innovations continue to make electronics more accessible to more people – and today, semiconductors are so affordable that they’re being added to everything. Semiconductors reduce energy consumption by making electric motors smarter, electrifying vehicles for a cleaner environment, and preserving natural resources by sensing water and gas leaks. They support energy efficiency in smart cities and automated factories, and help reduce energy consumption in homes by up to 40% through smart thermostats.
Our company keeps a disciplined focus on performance goals and continuous improvement in greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption, water consumption, waste and material management, and air emissions. By setting meaningful goals to make our manufacturing processes water- and energy-efficient across all operations and investing in controls from emissions abatement to water treatment technologies, we’ll help protect the environment.
Our founders had the foresight to know that building a great company required a special culture to thrive for the long term. We take pride in our commitment to being a good corporate citizen – including environmental, social, and governance (ESG) and sustainability priorities.
With our ambitions guiding our decision-making and our products helping create a better world, we are confident that our collective efforts will be impactful and long-lasting.
“It’s a great honor to be recognized this year by Texan by Nature as one of the 20 best businesses in conservation. This acknowledgment truly reaffirms our ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship. We are proud to be counted among local corporate citizens who also act as good neighbors, and who demonstrate that it is possible to embrace sustainability and recognize its benefits while responsibly operating a large, global enterprise.”
– Heidi Means, Worldwide ESH Director
How does TI quantify investment and return on conservation and sustainability?
We implement more than 200 energy efficiency projects each year to reduce GHG emissions and energy costs. Over the last five years, TI conserved 1.3 million MMBtu of energy – the equivalent of powering more than 35,000 homes for a year. In addition, TI saved $31.6 million in energy costs over this same period. TI implements water-efficiency projects each year that reduce water consumption. Since 2016, we conserved nearly 1.4 billion gallons. In addition, TI saved $8.9 million in water utility costs over this period.
Semiconductors continue to play a critical role in creating a better world and helping reduce environmental impacts. For decades, we have operated with a passion to create a better world by making electronics more affordable through semiconductors. Our passion is alive today and is central to the growing list of the ways in which semiconductors help create a better world. With our ambitions guiding our decision-making and our products helping create a better world, we are confident that our collective efforts will be impactful and long-lasting.
What is the one lesson that Texas Instruments has learned from your conservation and sustainability efforts that others can take back and think about applying within their own space?
As a manufacturer of billions of chips a year, it is critical that we do so efficiently and with a commitment to continued improvement. One way we measure our success is on a per-chip basis in four key areas of sustainability: energy, water, greenhouse gas emissions, and waste. TI has been working for years to drive efficiencies in its fabrication processes and equipment to reduce material consumption; water, chemical; and energy use; and associated air and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. When comparing our per-chip data from 2010 to 2020, we have reduced our manufacturing-related impacts and resource consumption substantially. By establishing metrics that are meaningful, this allows us to understand our environmental impacts while also increasing production in an effort to meet the needs of our customers.
Why is Texas an important home or base of operations for Texas Instruments?
At TI, our founders had the foresight to know that building a great company required a special culture to thrive for the long term. For decades, we have operated with a passion to create a better world through our technology and we continue to live by our values and ambitions – including our ambition that we will be a company that we’re personally proud to be a part of and would want as our neighbor. When we’re successful in achieving these ambitions, our employees, customers, communities, and shareholders all win.
The talent located in Texas is among the brightest and most innovative in the world. Through our support of education, we help improve the talent pipeline and quality of life in our community and provide a great home for our North Texas TIers. TI invests in the arts because it makes North Texas a more vibrant place to live and helps our community build a stronger economic base, attract new businesses, and visitors to our city.
Learn more about Texas Instrument’s conservation and sustainability efforts here.
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TI’s ~80,000 products help over 100,000 customers efficiently manage power, accurately sense and transmit data, and provide the core control or processing in their designs.
Thirty volunteers contributed a total of 190 hours to clean up marsh lands around China to remove invasive species.
In Baguio City, Philippines, volunteers from TI and their family members took on a year-long project to transform a trash dump into a park.
$31.6 million saved in energy costs and $8.9 million in water utility costs over the last five years.
In 2020, TI saved over $4.4 million in energy costs.
Nearly 1.4 billion gallons of water conserved over the past five years. In 2020, the execution of 72 projects resulted 206M+ gallons of water saved.
89.9% of waste was diverted (~42,220 metric tons) from landfills through reuse and recycling, by year-end 2020,
Nearly 600 trees were planted to replace more than 250 mature native trees lost from two large storms at TI’s Dallas headquarters in 2019.
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