Using Science to Support a Sustainable Future
Entegris is working to deliver innovations to semiconductor fabrication that will foster greater productivity and economic growth while enhancing sustainability.
Entegris provides products and systems that purify, protect, and transport critical materials used in the semiconductor device fabrication process. The firm is looking to have a positive social and environmental impact through its commitment to key goals that include innovation, safety and reliability, sustainable use of resources, and an inclusive workforce that promotes career advancement.
Innovation That Fosters Chip Scaling
For the semiconductor industry, continued innovation is critical for several key reasons. The mechanics behind Moore’s Law (the observation that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit could double every two years) led to increasingly sophisticated chips—a “scaling” of their capabilities. But for years, it’s been debated whether a wall for both Moore’s Law and the possibilities for further chip scaling would be hit. More broadly, chips’ capabilities are critical because countries grow economically when their gross domestic product (GDP) expands. GDP is influenced by the number of people in the workforce and their productivity. Given that most developed nations have relatively flat population growth, they rely on productivity gains to drive economic growth.
Technological innovation—like the automation capabilities fostered by computers and robotics—is powered by semiconductors. If semiconductors’ capabilities cannot keep growing, productivity growth, and thereby nations’ economic growth, would be limited. Entegris is developing ways that can enhance semiconductor manufacturing and enable chip scaling to continue.
To meet its innovation goals, Entegris is committed to investing by 2030 at least 55 percent of its operating expenses in research and development (R&D). The firm has already made progress toward this goal. In 2020, for example, it invested more than 35 percent of its operating expenses in R&D.
The company’s contributions toward advancing communications technology demonstrate its commitment to innovation. Entegris is enabling the ongoing improvement of mobile communications (such as 5G) by developing more advanced materials through a unique combination of performance materials and critical material handling solutions. The results deliver cutting-edge performance for devices that fit into the pockets of millions of people around the world.
Ensuring the Safety and Reliability of Semiconductors
Entegris is also working to make semiconductors safer and more reliable. Autonomous driving, which is powered by semiconductors, provides an example of why the safety of chips is so important. While microchip reliability is critical for all technologies, it is essential with autonomous vehicles because defects that lead to failures can be catastrophic.
Entegris is developing better solutions that can improve chip reliability. Its efforts focus on addressing the problem at its root, preventing latent defects from being introduced during the manufacturing process.
Working to Achieve More Sustainable Use of Resources
Entegris understands that semiconductor manufacturing consumes a considerable amount of energy and natural resources. It has embarked on a multipronged effort to ensure that its own manufacturing processes use resources more responsibly. It reinforces these goals with all its suppliers, as well. The firm is working to reduce its energy consumption by more than 20 percent per Entegris revenue dollar. It is also striving to achieve 100 percent electricity consumption generated from renewable sources, where available.
The firm is aiming to decrease its water usage by more than 50 percent per Entegris revenue dollar. It has established a three-year plan to install water-recovery systems across its global operations.
Many of the firm’s products begin with the formulation and processing of hazardous materials, such as flammable, corrosive, air-reactive, or toxic solids, liquids, and gases. The firm’s scientists and engineers look for opportunities to eliminate the use of these materials through its Sustainable Chemistry Program. The firm is also working to reduce the number of products and components that contain hazardous substances.
The firm is building its newest and largest global facility, located in Taiwan, to integrate the company’s 2030 sustainability goals throughout all its manufacturing processes. The firm has set aggressive goals to reduce water usage at this facility by more than 50 percent versus what is currently consumed at a similar existing facility.
Establishing an Inclusive Corporate Culture
Entegris recognizes that the technology sector historically has not had a diverse workforce. It is engaging in a variety of efforts to encourage women and individuals from historically underserved communities to get the training and education they need to enter the technology sector with help from ongoing support that will enable them to thrive in the Entegris workforce and enjoy opportunities for career advancement. This effort is particularly important to CEO Bertrand Loy.
The company is planning to invest more than $30 million over the next 10 years in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) scholarships and engineering internships for women and individuals from underrepresented communities. The company established the Entegris Foundation to fund the STEM scholarships. As of 2021, the firm has contributed $5 million to the foundation, and it is partnering with nine colleges and universities to award one student from each school an annual $25,000 scholarship for three years. In addition, the firm is committing more than $1 million annually to support internships and co-op students.
Entegris aims to fill more than 50 percent of its new engineering roles with women and individuals from underrepresented groups. In 2020, 39 percent of the firm’s engineer hires were women and/or people from underrepresented groups. To meet its 2030 goal, the firm is increasing on-campus programs and building relationships with key student programs that target underrepresented groups in engineering.
To establish a learning culture and provide more opportunities for career advancement, the firm has deployed a variety of managerial and technical development programs. It also aims to increase its workforce’s participation in internal training hours to more than five times the hours completed in 2020. The firm has strengthened the Entegris Leadership Development program to provide a three-year training opportunity for recent graduates in product, manufacturing, and quality engineering. It has also launched an Operations Leaders Development program and a Cell Leader Development program to expand opportunities for ongoing career growth.
To foster more inclusiveness, it has expanded its employee network groups to include cross-generational, Women of Entegris, LGBTQ+, and veterans employee networks. In 2021, the firm also added two new diverse board members, increasing its board diversity to 33 percent, up from 13 percent in 2020. It is working to achieve 50 percent board diversity by 2030.
Sustainable Development Goals
The Sands Capital six investment criteria tend to lead us to businesses that are innovators or vital facilitators of change in industries undergoing significant transformation. Entegris is one of many portfolio businesses that create impact by addressing at least one major social or environmental challenge identified by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Through the initiatives described here, Entegris supports SDG 5, Gender Equality; SDG 6, Clean Water and Sanitation; SDG 7, Affordable and Clean Energy; SDG 8, Decent Work and Economic Growth; SDG 9, Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure; and SDG 12, Responsible Consumption and Production.
Data referenced here comes from Entegris’s 2021 Corporate Social Responsibility Report
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