Semiconductor manufacturing is regarded as a very clean industry. Micron is the largest employer in the state of Idaho, but emits less than one percent of the pollution in the Treasure Valley. (Vehicles are responsible for the majority of the air pollution.) While Micron is proud of our environmental record, we are constantly striving to make improvements. Below is information regarding our water conservation and pollution prevention programs.
Micron currently recycles 70-80 percent of the water used each day in the production of semiconductors. This compares to a recycling rate of 30 percent in 1995; and we continue to look for ways to increase that percentage.
Water reclaimed is either sent back to production for reuse, or is used in the site's supply for fire suppression system back-up, landscape irrigation water, cooling tower and boiler water make-up, and tool cooling.
As an additional conservation measure, Micron has installed low flush toilets and automatic, low flow faucets.
At the heart of Micron's water conservation and reclamation program is one of the company's main conservation goals: to reduce our reliance on the local ground water supply. Micron's reclamation system is a model for water-use habits in the semiconductor industry.
Micron's achievements have been recognized with an award from the Pacific Northwest Section of the American Water Works Association for innovation and commitment to water conservation.
The manufacturing of semiconductors requires the use of different types of chemicals. Most of the chemicals used in Micron's manufacturing processes are the same as those found in everyday household cleaners, fertilizers and in common products found on the shelves of your local store. However, we realize that improper handling of these chemicals in any concentration can be hazardous. Micron takes its responsibility to properly manage these chemicals very seriously.
Micron has an active program for continuous reduction of chemicals in the manufacturing process. All new chemicals must pass Micron's chemical review board before being introduced into the workplace. The board ensures compliance with government environment and safety standards. Our pollution prevention efforts focus on reducing our impact to the environment. Some examples include:
- Micron developed a waste collection system that recovers a chemical used in our fabrication process. We, in turn, ship that used chemical to another company that uses it to produce a cleaning compound.
- We researched and found a substitution for a chemical used in our photolithography process. This substitution resulted in an 80 percent reduction in emissions.
- In another case, we researched and found an alternative to the cleaner we were using to wipe down our equipment. The use of the alternative cleaner reduced our emission by 70 percent.
While Micron is proud of our environmental record, we are constantly striving to make improvements. We will continue to fund reclamation and recycling programs, using news ideas and technologies as they emerge.