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IBM announces its 2001 Environmental Affairs Excellence Award winners

IBM announces its 2001 Environmental Affairs Excellence Award winners

31 Jul 2001 -- IBM has announced its formal recognition of 44 employees for their contributions to IBM's leadership in environmental protection. The achievements were acknowledged through IBM's Corporate Environmental Affairs Excellence Awards program.

Now in its eleventh year, the program recognizes the contributions of individuals and teams of employees with awards up to $50,000 for innovative accomplishments that contribute to IBM's environmental, energy, and safety objectives.

This year, six awards totaling $220,000 are being presented to the following employees:

Chad Binkerd, Jonathan Chapple-Sokol, Jose Cruz, John Doughty, Cuc Huynh, Tim Krywanczyk, and Doug Sturtevant of Burlington, Vermont, and Donna Cote, Fen Jamin, Susan Jankovsky, Leping Li, Michael Lofaro, and Cindy Wang of East Fishkill, New York, share $50,000 for developing and implementing innovative process changes, used in conjunction with an end point detection process, that reduced nitrate discharges from the tungsten chemical mechanical polish (CMP) planarization process during the manufacture of semiconductors. The new CMP process uses a commercially available oxidizer and a reformulated IBM-developed slurry for removing undesired material from the semiconductor wafer. This innovation reduced ferric nitrate concentration by approximately 50 percent, thereby reducing nitrate discharges to water from the IBM Burlington site by 20 to 30 percent. Moreover, the accomplishment significantly improved product yield and reliability, resulting in approximately $11 million of cost avoidance. Exemplary teamwork among research, development and manufacturing organizations enabled the company to realize environmental benefits and cost savings from this accomplishment two to four years sooner than it otherwise would have taken. A U.S. patent has been granted and other patent applications have been filed.

Michael Cummings, James Fuller, Jr., Timothy Krush, Mike Longo, Thomas Lyons, Curt Miller, Paul Speranza, William Wike, James Wilson, and Michael Wozniak of Endicott, New York, share $50,000 for developing and qualifying a new process that eliminated solvent use from the manufacture of ultra fine pitch (UFP) wire bond chip carrier products. A first in the industry, the team's innovations included the investigation and qualification of a dry film resist that achieves UFP's stringent photolithography specifications, while being compatible with existing printed wire board manufacturing steps. Benefits include, on an annual basis, avoiding 5.2 million pounds of chemical use, 5.6 million pounds of industrial and hazardous waste generation and off-site transport, and 110,000 pounds of process air emissions while saving over $5.6 million.

Satoshi Baba, Nobuyuki Hashi, Hiromi Ishikawa, and Hitoshi Tomiyama of Fujisawa, Japan, share $35,000 for reducing waste generation at Fujisawa by 50 percent through materials conservation and for sending zero waste to landfills as a result of innovative waste management, reuse and recycling programs -- a first in the company. The team's efforts have resulted in environmental benefits that include, on an annual basis, recycling of 133 tons of plastic containers; reusing 650 tons of packaging materials; reducing 63 tons of manufacturing materials; and avoiding the disposal of 5 tons of process equipment, while saving over $3.8 million. In addition, the site has shared its waste management approach with other IBM locations, suppliers, and the Japan Management Association, a Japanese industry group.

Francis Abramovich, Ernie Betancourt, Richard Gaylord, Andrew Hoadley, Frederick W. Kern, Kenneth McAvey, Clifford Morgan, Mark Pakulski, and Bill Salamon of Burlington, Vermont, share $35,000 for developing and implementing an innovative process to rinse and dry semiconductor wafer surfaces during manufacturing. The new process eliminated the final rinse process tank and utilized improved drying technology to allow for increased wafer throughput and improved tool utilization. Considered to be a best practice, this achievement has reduced water consumption by over 20 million gallons per year. It has also cut chemical usage by 15,000 gallons and conserved 1.55 million kWh of energy annually while saving $547,000.

Steve Ching, J. Ray Kirby, Dewey Pitts, Rodrigo Samper, and Charles Sloop III, of Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, and Duane Ruff of Rochester, Minnesota, share $25,000 for the selection, qualification, and global implementation of powder coatings for the decorative finishing of metal covers in IBM personal computer and server products. By working with its suppliers to ensure the global availability of powder coatings, the team has enabled IBM product designers and procurement organizations to specify this alternative to traditional liquid paints, which emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Powder coatings basically contain no solvents and result in virtually no waste. This initiative is of particular significance in the regions of the world where using aqueous-based paints that have lower VOC content than the solvent-based paints is not an option because water purification capabilities are lacking. The accomplishment is a demonstration of IBM's commitment to develop and produce environmentally conscious products. In the last two years, over 407,000 pounds of VOC emissions have been avoided and IBM's material cost savings have been $463,000.

Mark Maresh and Eric Stegner from Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, share $25,000 for designing environmentally conscious packaging used for shipping xSeries eServer hard disk drive options worldwide. The packaging innovation, for which patent protections are being sought, was designed to accommodate drives with varying weights and bezel heights, while providing adequate protection during shipment. The new design, which reduced the number of package components from 5 to 3 and increased the percentage of corrugated materials in lieu of plastics, has resulted in an annual reduction of 688 tons of packaging material, decreased carton size, and a more recyclable container. Total cost savings in materials and transportation from this accomplishment are $2.8 million.