This week has brought continued news of positive momentum in the area of green and sustainability efforts across high tech related supply chains.
For the first time, Apple Computer released its first environmental impact study. To no surprise, actual use of products accounts for 53% of the 10.2 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions associated with the lifecycle analysis of Apple products, followed by 38% derived from manufacturing. Interestingly, transportation accounts for 5%, while facilities account for 3%. Apple attributed much of the progress related to reduction of overall greenhouse gases in its efforts to reduce the amount of toxic materials used in its products as well as more streamlined packaging. Apple has also extended its efforts to audit more supply chain partners, including 83 facilities in 2008, up from 39 in 2007. Overall, it was not a bad report.
At the furthest end of the high tech value chain, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd (TSMC), a significant producer of computer chips for many Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM”s), announced that it has completed its Supply Chain Carbon Inventory Assistance Plan, the first company in Taiwan to complete such a study. TSMC not only actively inventories and tracks its own greenhouse gas emissions, but also requires suppliers to do so as well. The current plan includes 36 factories and 20 partner companies in disclosure, representing a wide variety of suppliers of raw material and chemical compounds to semiconductor manufacturing. TSMC has also embarked on an educational program across Taiwan to share its experiences in conducting a supply chain carbon inventory, in hopes of motivating other companies to initiate such programs.
I believe both companies should be applauded for their proactive efforts in tracking carbon emissions, and making more sound business cases for insuring greener supply chains.