KIOXIA makes sustainability a key management objective

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Published: Fri 22 Dec 2023, 1:17 PM

KIOXIA, a leading worldwide supplier of flash memory and solid-state drives (SSDs), is putting sustainability at the heart of its management strategy. From the invention of NAND flash memory to today’s renowned BiCS FLASHTM 3D flash memory, KIOXIA continues to pioneer innovative memory solutions with high quality and reliability. The company's renowned BiCS FLASH TM 3D flash memory technology is an important component in almost all electronic devices where data need to be stored. KIOXIA is committed to maintaining the highest quality standards and driving the development and production of innovative flash memory and storage solutions to adapt to ever-changing customer requirements. Moreover, KIOXIA aims to contribute to the development of a sustainable society through its business activities. In doing so, KIOXIA invests in the sustainability of its factories and product development.

by

Anam Khan

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“At KIOXIA we strongly believe that, as a leading manufacturer and employer, we have the duty to be socially responsible,” explains Asayuki Nannichi, president of KIOXIA Europe GmbH. “Tackling climate change is an urgent issue for the international community, so reducing our carbon footprint and environmental impacts are therefore an important management issue, both in terms of our business activities and our product lifecycles.”

The nature and scale of KIOXIA’s core business represent multiple risks and opportunities in the context of environmental responsibility. An environmental audit has enabled KIOXIA to identify various risks and opportunities. These included risks such as increased energy costs resulting from the introduction of a carbon tax, and the cost of installing additional equipment to remove greenhouse gases, such as PFCs, from their manufacturing process. Key opportunities have been identified to reduce expenditure by using less power and promoting energy conservation at KIOXIA’s manufacturing facilities, alongside the potential to reduce carbon emissions through the introduction of renewable energy sources. These findings have helped to inform KIOXIA’s sustainability strategy and implementation plan.

Net zero ambitions

To achieve its sustainability goals, KIOXIA is driving forward on several fronts:

● It has a program to install energy-efficient manufacturing equipment and power equipment at its sites and to purchase the electricity generated from these on-site systems under a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)1 model. The ultimate goal is for 100% of its energy to be derived from renewable sources by FY2040.

● It is seeking to install equipment that will eliminate the emission of perfluorocarbons (PFCs)2 —gases with high global warming potential—at all its manufacturing facilities constructed since 2011.

● It deploys the latest manufacturing automation technology, including AI, to optimise operational efficiency and reduce power and resource consumption in the manufacture of its flash drives and SSDs.

● During product development, it strives to incorporate features that will improve the energy efficiency of its products when they are in use.

● It makes every attempt to reduce greenhouse gas emissions throughout the value chain, by ascertaining the volume of these emitted by suppliers and taking steps to help reduce them.

● It is also working on the procurement of FIT non-fossil certificates, commonly used renewable energy certificates in Japan.

More information: https://www.kioxia-holdings.com/en-jp/news/2023/20230413-1.html

Sustainability in action

In 2023, KIOXIA Group made good on its sustainability commitment to use more renewable energy by installing large-scale solar power generation systems at its Kitakami Plant and Yokkaichi Plant.

Installed on the rooftops of the flash memory fabrication facilities, the new solar power systems are believed to be the largest of their kind at any semiconductor plant in Japan3. They have a total generating capacity of about 7.5 megawatts (MW) and are expected to generate about 7,600 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity annually for KIOXIA, reducing reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 3,200 tons per year. Regarding the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, KIOXIA has installed abatement equipment in all its targeted facilities, supporting its aim to eliminate the emission of PFCs during manufacturing.

The company has additionally set the goal of reducing by ome per cemt each year the previous year's total energy consumption through energy-saving activities in Japan, in line with the Act on Rationalizing Energy Use.

More information: https://europe.kioxia.com/en-europe/about/news/2023/20230306-1.html

Nannichi concludes: “KIOXIA will continue to address climate change proactively with its memory technology and aim to develop sustainably for the benefit of society.”

Notes:

1. PPA operators own the solar power generation equipment and are responsible for installation and maintenance of the system; third parties that make the necessary space available (in this case KIOXIA) purchase the electricity generated at the sites from the operators.

2. PFCs are an alternative to CFC gas used in the manufacture of semiconductors and have high global warming potential.

3. Based on KIOXIA research (as of February 1, 2023).


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