Waste management strategy
Our sustainable waste management bases on classification and separation of waste and the use of safe disposal methods according to legal requirements.
Our waste is partly coming from production and construction activities. Despite all efforts to use resources efficiently and minimize waste generation, Infineon still produces waste that cannot be avoided. Therefore, our subsequent objective is to ensure that the remaining waste is disposed properly and efficiently by professional waste disposal companies.
Nowadays, there are several methods, technically and economically feasible, of treating waste before its final disposal. In this regard, Infineon prefers the recovery methods prior to direct disposal at landfills. Among the different recovery methods, recycling is the ecologically most effective.
For this reason, waste is collected separately wherever possible at the point where it is produced. Some materials such as solvents are recycled, either internally or externally, whenever economically and ecologically feasible, and can therefore be re-used in the production process.
Our commitment is successful
The main aspect of our sustainable waste management is naturally the avoidance of waste. Infineon requires solvents in its manufacturing. After use, these can, if technically and economically feasible, be purified to such an extent by distillation that they can be reused as solvents. On the one hand, this reduces the purchase of new goods and, on the other, it reduces the waste generated.
Infineon uses redestillation to successfully externally recycle the solvents propylene glycol monomethyl ether acetate (PGMEA), cyclopentanone, N-methyl-pyrrolidone (NMP) as well as dimethyl formamide (DMF). As an example, in the 2020 fiscal year, 399.01 tons of the solvent PGMEA was recovered externally by distillation of waste containing PGMEA and reused in manufacturing.
At the Villach (Austria) site, reusable plastic packing which is sent back and forth between sites has been used in wafer transport, primarily for the site’s deliveries to Warstein (Germany) and Cegléd (Hungary). This activity has started some years ago and resulted in significant savings of e.g. up to 70,000 cartons and up to 140,000 pieces of foam plastic in the fiscal year 2019. This reusable packing was developed by Infineon employees on a cross-site basis in collaboration with suppliers.
Our site in Regensburg (Germany) began delivering used cardboard boxes to an external service provider for reuse in March 2016.
The recovery of precious metals (palladium and gold) from the galvanic sludge of the Regensburg site was awarded a third-place medal by the Idea Management Center of the German Institute for Idea and Innovation Management (Deutsches Institut für Ideen- und Innovationsmanagement) in Frankfurt in the “Best Sustainability Idea of 2016” competition.
These are some examples for the outcome of our successful waste management approach we apply since years.
Waste management data
Without our comprehensive waste preventing activities as e.g. recycling, the figures on waste generation would be considerably higher.
In the 2020 fiscal year we had only a total amount of waste generated of 41,073 tons. Thereof 19,930 tons were classified as non-hazardous and 21,143 tons as hazardous.
65.45 percent of the non-hazardous waste and 53.86 percent of the hazardous waste were sent to recycling. The percentages of the various waste management methods are illustrated in the charts below.
Infineon uses “waste generated in grams per square centimeter manufactured wafer” as a KPI to show its efficiency of waste management. This KPI is defined by the World Semiconductor Council (WSC). Compared to the WSC global average, in 2019 calendar year our worldwide frontend sites generated approximately 66 percent less waste per square centimeter manufactured wafer.