The U.S. semiconductor industry, one of the country’s top export sectors, is responsible for a fraction of one percent of U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, according to the EPA’s most recent GHG Reporting Program data (2014). The EPA data shows that out of 5.7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents (mmt CO2e) emitted by industrial facilities in the U.S., only 3,204 mmt CO2e -- or 0.177 percent -- is emitted by electronics manufacturers, including semiconductor manufacturers. Most of the industry’s emissions are associated with the use of fluorinated gases (F-gases) used in complex manufacturing processes, without which advanced semiconductor manufacturing is not technically feasible.
Although the industry contributes only a very small amount of GHG emissions, SIA and its members have been engaged in ongoing efforts to reduce these emissions.
- Under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with EPA, SIA members voluntarily reported on their emissions of PFCs, a category of GHGs. Under this agreement, SIA members reduced their collective absolute US emissions of F-gases by more than 35% since 1995; and down 50% from their peak in 1999.
- SIA and its members have participated in the efforts of the World Semiconductor Council (WSC) to reduce emissions of PFCs. The global industry committed to a 10 percent reduction from a baseline year, and in 2011 the industry announced that it far surpassed this goal and achieved a reduction of 32 percent in absolute emissions. To build on this success, the global industry is implementing a new 10-year reduction goal.
In recognition of this effort, in 1998 the EPA granted WSC one of its first Climate Protection Awards.