Flextronics is committed to a 15 percent CO2/revenue dollar reduction by 2015, according to the company’s first Corporate Social and Environmental Responsibility (CSER) report. The electronics manufacturing services company expects to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and carbon footprint by focusing on energy efficiency and renewable sources.
Flextronics’ CSER program, called FLEXpledge, addresses stakeholder engagement, CSER development and management, ethics and governance, employee programs, environmental sustainability, and community partnerships.
In the area of environmental sustainability, Flextronics’ strategy encompasses a “5 pillar environmental framework,” which is focused on chemical substance management, product take-back and recycling, pollution control, resource conservation, and climate change.
Under chemical substance management, the company has a system that enables it to collect and manage Full Material Content (FMC) from each of its supply chain partners to ensure that the products it makes are fully compliant to any law or legislation.
In the area of product take-back and recycling, the company refurbishes, remarkets or resells product into secondary markets enabling the extension of the products’ life. It also ensures that any recycling and disposition of scrap materials are ethically disposed of and not dumped and discarded into landfills, especially in developing countries.
As an example, Flextronics Aguascalientes (Mexico) has established its own recycling center. Since 1998, it has recycled 80,000 tons of waste for Xerox. Its capabilities include 100 percent industrial scrap control, gray market avoidance and the ability to trace recycled materials. In addition to recycling waste, the facility can also recycle roof insulation, plastic flooring, plastic bricks and pallets.
Many of Flextronics’ manufacturing sites are evaluating alternative forms of energy. As an example, Flextronics Althofen (Austria) uses renewable energy made of wooden chips to provide heating in the facility, cutting the facility’s energy use by 10 percent.
Flextronics’ environmental strategy also includes “5 CLEAN Value Propositions,” addressing compliance with all legal and customer requirements, liability and cost protection for Flextronics and its business partners, environmental stewardship, asset recovery and new business opportunity.
In the area of product design, Flextronics’ Design for Environment goal is to reduce environmental impacts throughout the full product life cycle and incorporate environmental solutions into the product design to mitigate compliance issues. The company also established an eleven-step closed loop compliance process.
The electronics manufacturing services company also strives to cut water consumption. As an example, Flextronics Guadalajara has established a “closed loop” water system to better manage and save its water consumption. The treatment center enables the facility to recycle 9,600 of the 16,300 cubic meters of water extracted from its deep water wells every month, translating into tens of thousands of dollars in savings annually.