Environment, Safety and Health

Environment, Safety and Health

The Environment, Safety, and Health (ESH) Committee works to advance the high priority the industry places on environmental sustainability and health and safety. The Committee has led industry efforts to successfully achieve voluntary reduction goals in the emissions of perfluorocompounds (PFCs), a group of gases that contribute to global climate change. Semiconductor manufacturing was one of the first industries to establish global voluntary reduction targets for these PFCs when in 1999 the WSC agreed to reduce PFC emissions by at least 10% by the end of 2010. By 2010, emissions were reduced 32% below the baseline, surpassing the 10% reduction target. The WSC won the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Climate Protection Award for this initiative. The WSC has committed to the 2020 voluntary PFC agreement and reports on progress publicly in the annual joint statement.

The WSC has also made voluntary commitments to eliminate the use of perfluorooctanyl sulfonates (PFOS), a chemical that has been identified by international bodies as a chemical of concern, in all non-critical uses. WSC members have been successful in reducing most uses and virtually eliminating PFOS emissions.

WSC members also are continuing to focus on resource conservation activities for energy, water and waste in the semiconductor production process.  Further, the WSC is working to advance worker safety and health in the industry.

The Committee helps the WSC make recommendations to the GAMS on environmental policies and emerging regulations.


Key ESH initiatives and White Papers

November, 2014 – Annex III: Revision of 2013 PFC Data

September 2012 – Best Practice Guidance of PFC Emission Reduction

May, 2012 – WSC Essential Considerations for the Regulation of Chemicals Used in Semiconductor

May, 2005 – WSC-SEMI Joint White Paper

May, 2005 – WSC PFC reduction graph

May, 2005 – WSC PFC Emission Press Release

February, 2005 – JSTC Statement on the Greenhouse Gas Legislation

May, 2002 – Guiding Principles White paper

May, 2001 – Lead Free White Paper

April, 1999 – PFC Reduction


Conflict Minerals

In 2013 the WSC adopted a Conflict-Free Supply Chain Policy in order to support global progress in addressing the sourcing of conflict minerals from conflict zones, such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and surrounding countries. The global semiconductor industry is a recognized leader in addressing conflict minerals. The semiconductor industry has led the development of compliance tools that have been adopted by other industry sectors and has implemented advanced programs for tracking progress across our supply chain.