A Challenge to SEMI Members

A Challenge to All SEMI Members—Get Involved in Global Care

By Kenichi Sekiya

Director Emeritus, SEMI; Honorary Chairman, Disco Corporation

In the year 2000, the semiconductor equipment and materials industry entered a difficult period, seeing an unprecedented downturn at the end of a cycle cut one-third of global production. In the seven years since then, the industry has made an energetic recovery. In the midst of this volatility, SEMI has proactively expanded activities that are extremely important to the growth of SEMI member companies and the industry. These activities include global SEMICON shows, standards which in so many ways form the foundation of the industry’s technology, global statistics, international conferences such as the International Trade Partners Conference (ITPC), and others. Among these, Global Care—an EHS initiative launched by SEMI—is, I feel, of high significance to the industry globally.

Akira Inoue, past president of Tokyo Electron Limited, championed SEMI EHS activities when he was a member of the SEMI Board of Directors in 1998. These activities have since spread across the globe as a key initiative embraced by SEMI as a whole. The ideal to which we as SEMI members should attain is of a committed, accident-free, environment-friendly industry that makes health a priority and shows leadership on EHS issues. To accomplish this, we need to take the lead on EHS, promote innovation of the necessary technology and endeavor to raise the standard of living for all—and then ensure that proof of these activities is widely evident throughout society.

The 20th century was a century of industrial and material advancement. In order for the 21st century to be remembered for the information revolution and the development of human culture that it makes possible, the semiconductor industry must head up the revolutionary shift from environmental destruction to environmental conservation. This was the message that Akira Inoue advocated, a message that now permeates SEMI and is bearing fruit in Global Care.

Global Care is modeled after the chemical industry’s Responsible Care initiative, with special consideration given to making it easy for even small companies to participate. Instead of requiring strict adherence to standards and mandatory reporting, Global Care establishes a framework promoting commitment to five key principles: Workplace Health and Safety, Resource Conservation, Product Stewardship, Community Service and Excellence. Not limiting participation based on country or industry segment, the initiative aims to expand to cover the semiconductor industry worldwide, including device makers.

Society demands that we conduct our businesses in an ethically responsible manner, and in order for the semiconductor industry to remain viable in a comprehensive sense, we need to do more than just run our operations: We need to prove their social, environmental and ethical soundness to society. Global Care was established to make this possible, and I challenge all SEMI members to get involved.

Part of the SEMI mission and vision statement reads, “SEMI is committed to helping member companies from around the world grow more profitably.” In my view, SEMI is a global supporting system that exists to help members in the pursuit of their objectives, namely prosperity for themselves and their customers, scientific and technological development, and the growth of the industry. Of course, individual SEMI members have their own particular objectives and social missions, but individually, the power of each company is limited. In joining and participating in SEMI, members are seeking to increase their ability to fulfill their missions. Each member company has its own expectations of value from the relationship with SEMI, and maximizing this value in a way that is fair to all members as well as other stakeholders is crucial. I would suggest that the significance of SEMI lies in the very attempt to increase the conversion of member commitment into value for all members. The success of Global Care is fundamental to the long-term prosperity of the industry and the achievement of further growth by member companies, and I am convinced that it will greatly contribute to increasing the value from membership, value that only SEMI can provide. Again, I encourage all SEMI members to join Global Care and join me in helping SEMI promote EHS on a global scale.

For more information, visit Global Care.