TSMC touts water management achievements in light of drought threat

09/19/2021 09:46 PM
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TSMC wastewater treatment equipment. CNA file photo
TSMC wastewater treatment equipment. CNA file photo

Taipei, Sept. 19 (CNA) Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the world's top contract chipmaker, saved almost 2 million metric tons of water last year as part of its efforts to fulfill its commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050, according to the company's financial disclosure report.

To reach its zero emissions goal, TSMC has been taking tangible action to broaden its green influence and drive industry towards low carbon sustainability, Chairman Mark Liu (劉德音) said in the company's Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) Report issued last week.

In terms of water management, in 2020, TSMC invested NT$1.6 billion (US$57.54 million) in water conservation and recycle equipment and spent an additional NT$1.2 billion on equipment operation and maintenance.

Meanwhile, the company saved nearly 1.927 million metric tons of water last year by adopting water conservation measures such as reducing water consumption by facility system, increasing wastewater recycling by facilities, improving system water production rate, and decreasing water discharge loss from the system, according to the report.

TSMC is aiming to reduce by 2030 the amount of water it uses per unit by 30 percent from 2010 levels.

Compared with 2010, TSMC saw its unit water consumption fall 8.9 percent in 2020, according to the company.

In anticipation of worsening drought in the future after Taiwan experienced a major drought between the end of 2020 and May 2021, TSMC, a voracious industrial user of water, also compiled related statistics for drought risk assessments in the report.

The data showed that from 1986 to 2005, the longest period Hsinchu City and County had gone without rain was 40 days, while for Taichung it was 52 days without rain, and for Tainan 62 days without.

The most numbers of days Hsinchu, Taichung and Tainan will have gone without rain between 2016 and 2035 are forecast to rise by 4.15 percent, 2.42 percent, and 2.28 percent, respectively, according to TSMC's projection.

Between 2081 and 2100, the longest stretch without precipitation in Hsinchu could rise by 14.44 percent from the 1985-2005 period, 11.33 percent in Taichung, and 10.73 percent in Tainan, according to the semiconductor foundry.

If one drought occurs every 10 years, it could cause a reduction of 0.7-1.1 percent on average in TSMC's annual operating revenue, the company projected.

As drought conditions in Taiwan are likely to worsen, in addition to stepping up water conservation and raising the recycling rate of the water used in production processes, TSMC has established a comprehensive water monitoring mechanism to regularly check the status of water supplies in the country.

In the face of rising drought risks, TSMC is strengthening its water conservation measures, increasing the recycling rate of process waste water, and establishing comprehensive monitoring mechanisms for water supply.

It is also expanding the use of reclaimed water, and preparing water trucks to minimize the impact on operations and achieve zero interruption to production, according to the company's TCFD report.

The TCFD is an organization that was established in December 2015 with the goal of developing a set of voluntary climate-related financial risk disclosures. It has developed a framework to help public companies and other organizations disclose climate-related risks and opportunities and accurately report climate-related financial information.

(By Jackson Chang and Evelyn Kao)

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