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Analog Devices Focuses on Reducing Emissions, Water, and Waste

Semiconductors Analog Devices connects the physical and digital worlds with its software and hardware solutions. The Wilmington, Massachusetts company, which has more than 25,000 employees in 35 countries, serves the industrial, automotive, and communications industries. 

It excels in grid stabilization and energy storage systems, electric vehicle batteries, and intelligent building management systems — all things that help other businesses reduce their carbon emissions. “With less power required, the system can be designed for lower peak capacities, resulting in less raw material inputs,” the company says. 

It aims to be carbon neutral by 2030 and net-zero across its entire value chain by 2050. It also wants to reduce its water usage by 50% at all of its manufacturing facilities by 2025 while diverting 100% of its waste from landfills by 2030. And it has a goal to run all of its manufacturing facilities on renewable energy by 2025. It uses 2019 as a baseline year. 

“Environment, Social, and Governance principles are at the heart of everything we do, but not just because we believe it’s the morally right thing to do. Put simply, ESG is smart business,” says Vincent Roche, chief executive of Analog Devices, in the company’s 2021 sustainability report. “Our products make it possible for end users to consume less energy and emit fewer greenhouse gases. Electric vehicles that are key to a green transportation revolution rely on Analog Devices’ semiconductors to safely optimize and extend battery performance and life cycles.”

How are you doing so far? 

In 2021, the company adjusted its timeline from 2015 to a 2019 baseline to conform to the approval of Science Based Target initiatives. That measurement aims to keep temperature increases in line with the Paris climate agreement — to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius by mid-century. Results? 

— 2.2% increase in absolute Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions from 2019, 

— 12% decrease in Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions intensity by combined revenue from 2019, 

— 39% of the electricity used at the company’s manufacturing facilities is from renewables,  

— 23% of water recycled, and

— 82% of waste is diverted from landfill. 

Analogue Device’s manufacturing facilities make up 92% of its greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, it is focused on using 100% renewable energy at those sites by 2025. That includes buying renewable energy credits. It will also use process and equipment optimization and energy conservation. 

For example, its new buildings at its Wilmington campus were LEED-Gold certified in 2021. They use energy-efficient features such as a glass building envelope and atrium skylights that maximize natural lighting. Those features are combined with installing 14 electric vehicle chargers and solar panel arrays producing 1,500 MWh/year of energy.

Altogether, the company’s Scope 1 and 2 emissions intensity fell 12% between 2019 and 2021. Much of that is attributed to its use of green energy or renewable energy certificates. In 2021, the company reached 39% renewable energy use across its global manufacturing operations, and it bought 29,042-megawatt hours of renewable energy through credits.

It is also reducing emissions by using such techniques as:

— manufacturing process optimization like lower-emitting gases

— conserving energy using equipment upgrades, building energy management systems, and LED lighting upgrades. 

At its Camas, Washington location, it installed six electric vehicle charging stations, and in Wilmington, Massachusetts, it put in 14 additional EV charging stations, bringing the total up to 28 stations. Further, it added 222 kilowatts in solar capacity to a campus building. And in the Philippines, it converted old lighting to new energy-efficient LED lighting. That project is 91% done.

“With the unprecedented demand for semiconductor products, it’s important to acknowledge and recognize the impact of increased production on our emissions footprint,” the company says. “As such, we are introducing another metric – emissions intensity – to aid us in understanding how improvement efforts are impacting reduction goals relative to total output, as proxied by revenue. We seek to achieve consistent decreases in emissions intensity year over year.” 

Tell us about your efforts to reduce water and waste.  

Water is critical to semiconductor manufacturing, and Analog Devices is committed to saving and recycling water. Most initiatives so far have focused on recycling water at its facilities, using scrubbers, cooling towers, and irrigation. And it uses LEED standards for water conservation. In 2021, it certified two facilities in Wilmington, for a total of five LEED-certified buildings.

“Water is treated on-site per local regulatory requirements, with most water undergoing pH neutralization prior to discharge and subsequent treatment in municipal wastewater treatment plants. In some cases, water is segregated for separate treatment of fluoride, metals, or other wastes, and sampling is conducted prior to discharge or collection to ensure compliance with water quality standards,” the company says. 

Its water intensity fell by 9% between 2019 and 2021. The company achieved a recycling rate of 23%, equating to 223 million gallons of water in 2021. The goal is to recycle half of its water use by 2025.

Lastly, Analog Devices generates much waste through its manufacturing and construction activities. That includes glass, paper, metals, and wood. The company says it responsibly disposed of its chemicals while it strives to reuse, reclaim or recycle them to the extent possible.

“We determine ways to further segregate our waste streams and work with our waste disposal vendors to divert those wastes from landfills,” the company says. “We engage with our employees through initiatives like the Green Team Network to educate our workforce on the importance of recycling and reducing waste. Activities promoted include proper bin use, composting, and reducing takeout containers and plastic bottles.” 

Its waste intensity declined by 6% from 2019 to 2021. The total waste generated increased from a 2019 baseline by 10% in 2021, and 82% of that was diverted from landfill. 

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