EHS Regulations—including EU’s REACH—Impact our Industry
As the global association for semiconductor equipment and materials manufacturing companies, SEMI is involved with hundreds of initiatives across all aspects of the industry, including public policy, standards, emerging technologies and environment, health and safety (EHS). The latter, while it might have less visibility in the overall organization, provides an extremely important service for SEMI members by providing business-critical information and education around new global environmental policies affecting the industry.
On June 1 of this year, the European Union will launch the initial phase of a new chemical policy called “Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals”, or REACH. An extremely ambitious strategy, REACH will replace 40 existing European Union (EU) laws, and will affect numerous industries, including ours.
REACH will require manufacturers and importers to register most substances in volumes above one metric ton (MT) per year, per manufacturer or importer, placed on the EU market. The overall goals of the REACH are focused on improving protections for human health and the environment, creating greater competitiveness in the EU, and establishing accountability for risk management on the legal entities that manufacture, import, deliver to market, or use the substances.
As an ongoing service to its members, SEMI EHS acts as an information hub for its members by distributing relevant information focusing on how new regulations, such as REACH, will affect them, and what to expect. In addition to its standard member communications, the SEMI EHS group sponsors informational Webcasts, and invites high-level industry experts to participate in seminars at major SEMI industry events such as SEMICON West.
On May 22, SEMI sponsored an introductory REACH Webcast, geared at introducing the policy and providing a high-level overview of what its member companies should expect in advance of the upcoming June 1 rollout. Speaking were subject matter experts Professor Lucas Bergkamp of Hunton & Williams and Mike Kirschner, CEO of Design Chain Associates.
In addition, the association is offering a content-rich curriculum of different EHS initiatives at SEMICON West 2007. Notably, an EHS Interest Group Meeting focusing on RoHS and REACH will meet and discuss the new business challenges that SEMI members around the globe will need to address for compliance. Comprised of five major presentations and a panel discussion, the event will bring together some of the foremost authorities on the new policies to discuss the overall implications of RoHS and REACH, how to manage the impact each will have on the industry, resulting opportunities and challenges, and the roles of EHS managers in adapting to these new situations.
For additional information on SEMI EHS initiatives and programs, visit www.semi.org/ehs.