Comparison of Risk Management Operations from the Semiconductor and Solar Industries

Goss, Dale*; Creighton, Susan

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Semiconductor research, development, and manufacturing has evolved and matured as an industrial leader for EHS business operations. Now with the advent of global environmental awareness, the landscape and expectations for EHS professionals are evolving further. Sustainable business practices are becoming more recognized by both customers and value based management investors. Leading the sustainable initiative effort is energy reduction and use of renewable energy sources. To serve the global renewable energy demand, venture capital and businesses are investing in alternative energy companies at a rapid pace. Leading this market is the solar photovoltaic industry. A unique opportunity now exists for skilled EHS personnel to guide solar businesses’ EHS and sustainability strategies. Photovoltaic device manufacturing relies heavily on technologies similar to semiconductor processing, so semiconductor EHS standards and professionals are well positioned to provide needed guidance during this time of exponential growth. This presentation and paper will: 1) Compare semiconductor and solar industries; 2) Review lessons learned from the semiconductor industry; 3) Explain how top semiconductor companies are leading sustainable operations; 4) Explain how industry associations can assist individual businesses; and 5) Recommend strategies for both semiconductor and new solar industry players. The presentation will discuss the benefits achieved when Semiconductor and Solar EHS professionals collaborate to advance the science and technology regarding renewable energy sources. The goal is to demonstrate how EHS professionals can proactively steer both companies and/or entire industries to operate more safely; protecting employees, facilities, and community; yet providing continuous return on investments for businesses.

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