SK hynix, a supplier of Dynamic Random Access Memory chips (DRAM), flash memory chips (NAND flash) and CMOS Image Sensors (CIS) for a wide range of global customers, established a roadmap to actively utilise recycled and renewable materials in production.
The Korea-based company claims that it is the first semiconductor company to “lay out such a mid to long-term plan.”
According to the press release, SK hynix defines recycled materials as materials “extracted, recovered and reprocessed from pre-consumer waste generated in the manufacturing process before arrival at end users or from post-consumer waste disposed of after use.”
Renewable materials are then defined as “sustainable materials that originate from nature and can be regenerated naturally over time, ultimately not depleted (e.g. wood, etc.).”
SK hynix will start with essential metals for semiconductor production, such as copper, tin, and gold, and replace them with recycled materials
Through this roadmap, SK hynix aims to raise the proportion of recycled materials used in the products currently manufactured by the company to 25% by 2025 and more than 30% (based on weight) by 2030.
As part of the plan, SK hynix will start with essential metals for semiconductor production, such as copper, tin, and gold, and replace them with recycled materials.
In the press release, SK hynix claims that industry experts have pointed out that metal materials are the most effective when it comes to resource circulation as they account for a large proportion of the weight of finished memory products and are difficult to replace with other materials.
The company also plans to make all-out efforts to promote resource circularity, including replacing the plastic packaging used to protect finished semiconductor products with recycled plastic.
To this end, SK hynix has prepared an implementation system for the goals in the roadmap.
The company will strengthen certification procedures and quality evaluation for recycled materials purchased directly by the company, and decide whether to apply the materials included in the parts supplied by business partners after receiving and reviewing the quality evaluation.
In addition, SK hynix plans to encourage its suppliers to join the efforts to obtain validation from publicly trusted external organisations such as the ISO 14021, which is a type 2 environmental label established by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) that manufacturers adopt to declare themselves environmentally friendly, to verify the use and proportion of recycled materials.
While implementing this roadmap, we will work together with all stakeholders in the semiconductor supply chain, including customers and suppliers, to achieve practical results
In this process, the company will provide its unwavering support to its suppliers if necessary, according to the press release.
Junho Song, Vice President and Head of Advanced Quality & Analysis of SK hynix, said: "As a company that takes ESG management seriously, we intend to actively participate in the establishment of a global circular economy. While implementing this roadmap, we will work together with all stakeholders in the semiconductor supply chain, including customers and suppliers, to achieve practical results."
However, the press release also states that these materials are not available in the US: “These materials are not an offer for sale of the securities of SK hynix in the United States. SK hynix does not intend to register any offering in the US or to conduct a public offering of securities in the US.”