As a part of our environmental management strategy, we comply with relevant regulations on environmental protection for waste water and industrial waste management. In addition, we have established the Environmental Health and Safety Management System Manual as a guideline for our management system, which we regularly inspect and consolidate. Our waste water management meets emission standards and we report to the government in line with relevant regulations. Industrial waste is handled by qualified companies.
Reduce environmental impact
We will adopt adequate technology for production or pollution prevention. We will also introduce designs for product energy conservation and waste reduction so as to prevent pollution from product use, to make more efficient use of resources, and to reduce the environmental impact of product use and service delivery.
Take environmental protection responsibility
We will continue to satisfy consumer demands for green products by abolishing and/or reducing environmentally restricted substances in raw materials, parts, adjuvants, and packaging materials. This is achieved by adopting the principles of prohibition or restriction in order to protect the environment and reduce the impact of our products on natural ecosystems.
We will conduct energy and resource recycling and educate all employees to raise their awareness on energy conservation as well as environmental health and safety.
Promote waste reduction in the industry
We will seek to introduce environmental protection design concepts to use energy more efficiently and reduce the environmental impact of product use or service delivery so that we can continue to satisfy consumer demands regarding the provision of environmentally friendly products.
Comply with environmental protection regulations
We will comply with all environmental protection laws, regulations, and other demands from the government. We will also respond to international environmental protection trends by researching and developing green products that continue to satisfy consumer demands with regard to green and environmentally friendly products.
Consolidate environmental management
We will seek to popularize environmental protection education by having all Advantech employees participate in promoting environmental management systems. We will also conduct continuous auditing activities and environmental management inspections to discover our shortcomings and continue to improve our processes in order to establish a lawful and effective environmental management system.
To fulfill the promises of green management and sustainable development, since 1996, Advantech has been implementing an environmental management system to consolidate the planning of environmental protection topics and to achieve efficient resource use. Through the Environmental Safety and Health Committee, we have established the framework for environmental health and safety concepts, promoted energy-saving, improved our energy use efficiency, and included energy cost reduction as an annual key auditing item. Moreover, we follow our environmental management system and greenhouse gas inventory to regularly inspect our effectiveness. In 2020, there were no issues with environmental protection that required any amendment. In 2020 per unit revenue for greenhouse gas emissions density was reduced by 2.1% compared to the previous year.
Each Advantech plant is equipped with water-saving faucets and toilets and implements water-saving measures to reduce water use per capita. All factories and offices are located in developed industrial zones or parks in metropolitan areas with access to tap water. None of them draw water from underground sources or wells. Below figure shows the total water use at all plants for the past 3 years.
Water consumption per unit revenue for 2020 was reduced by 8% compared to 2018. In Taiwan, we primarily reduce our overall water consumption by recycling rain water for daily use and by adopting a smart watering system, smart air conditioning cooling water system with smart control, and water chiller system with regular control for monitoring and management. At the Kunshan plant in 2019, we launched the energy-saving management and control special project. Water meters were installed in each production unit at each factory building to help manage water use. Water use is divided into Phase 1, Phase 2, Phases 3–4, dormitories, kitchen, and facility use when we evaluate whether our water usage is reasonable. The Kunshan plant implements a water recycling and regeneration system to recycle water resources, achieving a reclaimed water recycle rate of 70%. Each year, this system reduces water use by up to 53%.
Advantech’s ultimate waste management goal is to achieve zero waste. Therefore, we have adopted strategies for reducing total waste and turning waste into resources. In addition to our resource management strategies (e.g., raw material reduction to minimize waste), we proactively promote turning waste into resources (e.g., reuse of packaging). By adopting recycling and reuse to replace the original end-of-pipe treatment model, we are able to transform waste materials into useful resources. This achieves resource recycling and reduces both energy consumption and handling costs. Each year, Advantech assesses its waste contractors. Should they violate their contract or any government regulation, Advantech will adopt appropriate measures to either provide coaching or cease cooperation. In 2020, there were no major violations or illegal activities by any of our waste contractors.
For Advantech Taiwan and Kunshan, we estimate the weight of general waste undergoing final treatment based on our waste collection and disposal contract. As such, weight information under further treatment categories cannot be obtained. Thus, we only disclose treatment information pertaining to industrial waste.
In 2020, the total amount of industrial waste generated by Advantech Taiwan was approximately 83.38 tons (below figure). Because our operations are primarily based around assembly, the total hazardous industrial waste was only approximately 16.80 tons, accounting for 20.15% of all industrial waste, while total general industrial waste was 66.58 tons, accounting for 79.85% of all industrial waste. PCB waste accounted for the largest component of industrial waste produced by Advantech in Taiwan. To minimize our industrial waste, we will continue to improve our production yield to reduce electronic waste or trimmings.
In 2020, the total industrial waste generated by Advantech Kunshan was 1,467.28 tons, including general waste, organic solvents, and waste material from stamping from mechanical factories. Below figure shows the percentage of each type of industrial waste. Advantech Kunshan’s industrial waste reduction plans include establishing a designated storage area for paint-stripped waste, handing dried paint-stripped waste over to a qualified recycling company for treatment, and exchanging tin dross waste for tin wire from the original supplier, who then recycles and reuses the tin dross waste.