IBM’s evaluation of water use at its worldwide facilities shows that microelectronics operations are the company’s most water-intensive ones. For example, in 2010, IBM’s microelectronics manufacturing operations represented 82 percent (nearly 9,800 thousand cubic meters [TCMs]) of the total water used (approximately 11,900 TCMs) at IBM’s manufacturing operations and laboratories worldwide.
Though IBM’s microelectronics operations are not located in areas of water scarcity, in 2000, IBM established an annual water savings goal of 2 percent of total annual water usage in its microelectronics manufacturing operations, based on the water usage of the previous year and measured as an average over a rolling five-year period. The goal measures annual water conservation activities from actual year-over-year reductions from conservation savings projects, reuse (e.g., from the ultra-pure water process for semiconductor manufacturing) and recycling (e.g., from treated wastewater).
In 2010, annual water conservation for the microelectronics manufacturing operations from reduction, reuse and recycling activities was 710 TCMs of water. Of the 710 TCMs of water, 590 TCMs (6 percent of the total water used at IBM’s microelectronics manufacturing operations) was provided through on-site water reuse, and wastewater and groundwater recycling projects. Conservation savings projects avoided the use of another 120 TCMs.
Water Conservation in Microelectronics Manufacturing Operations
To achieve an annual water savings equal to 2 percent of total annual water usage in its microelectronics manufacturing operations, based on the water usage of the previous year and measured as an average over a rolling five-year period.
As of year-end 2010, IBM’s microelectronics manufacturing operations had achieved an average annual water savings of 2.8 percent over the past five years versus the 2 percent goal.
These new water conservation and ongoing reuse and recycling initiatives in IBM’s microelectronics manufacturing operations achieved an annual 1.8 percent savings in water use in 2010. The avoided withdrawals were achieved through ongoing efficiency enhancements that reduced water usage in designated operations. Over the past five years, new water conservation and recycling initiatives at IBM’s microelectronics manufacturing operations have achieved an average 2.8 percent savings versus the 2 percent goal.
Despite this conservation activity, total annual water withdrawals for these operations increased by 3 percent or 325 TCMs from 2009, primarily due to expanded production at the facilities. The total accumulated conservation activities over the past five-year period avoided withdrawals of 8,885 TCMs of water resource.
Annual Water Savings in Microelectronics Manufacturing Operations
Savings as percentage of previous year’s total water use
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