EHS Regulatory Forecast: what EHS regulatory trends should the semiconductor industry anticipate around the world over the coming three to five years?

Welsch, Jack; Beatley, Paul
(Enhesa Inc, Washington, DC)

The electronics industry has seen an unprecedented growth in new environmental laws and regulations over the past several years that directly impact its operations and the products it places on global markets. The coming years promise more of the same as a growing number of countries pass and implement legislation aimed at controlling and mitigating the environmental and human health impacts arising from the manufacture, use and end-of-life management of electronic products. The semiconductor manufacturing sector will be particularly impacted by growing pressures to eliminate the use of chemicals and materials deemed problematic for the environment, measures to improve the energy efficiency of such products and systems, and a host of regulatory trends that will tighten up on environmental controls on its manufacturing processes. Drawing on Enhesa’s expertise in monitoring EHS regulations and conducting compliance assessments in over 130 countries and jurisdictions, we will identify and describe the key EHS regulatory trends which will impact the semiconductor business over the coming decade. Making reference to more than 32,000 EHS regulatory and policy developments in its tracking database, we have discerned a number of critical trends of major importance to the semiconductor industry using a methodology that has been refined over the past 15 years, yielding results that have been widely used in industry and in policymaking institutions such as UNEP. Specifically this presentation will cover the following key trends: the spread and extension of energy efficiency and climate change tracking, reporting and emission reduction requirements; the global expansion of product environmental regulations to more countries and affecting more materials and products; the projected massive ramp up in a growing number of countries of chemical testing requirements with significant implications for cost and availability of materials used in the industry; spread of new mandates in the area of corporate social responsibility, particularly with respect to stakeholder reporting obligations; and the spread and growth of water management policies and regulations affecting water use rights, water pricing and pressures to minimize water use through new technologies and/or product and process reformulations. This presentation will discuss the key policy and regulatory trends, where they are arising, and where they are headed next.

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