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Reducing our use of water

ASML uses a relatively modest amount of water. Overall water consumption is only 1–3% of that used by most companies in the semiconductor industry, the majority of which are chip makers. Nevertheless, in line with our commitment to use natural resources responsibly and reduce costs, it is our goal to reduce water consumption and increase the percentage of water we can recycle at our sites. In 2011, we developed a Water Master Plan for Veldhoven, Wilton and Linkou for the period 2011-2015.

Although ASML produced more machines in 2011 versus 2010, our total water use decreased by 6,5% from 686,000 m3 in 2010 to 641,200 m3 in 2011. This is mainly attributed to:

  • two sites, Richmond and Tempe, no longer being reported in 2011. Our site in Richmond was sold in 2010 and Tempe is no longer a manufacturing location;

  • water saving projects implemented in Linkou and Wilton in 2010 and 2011.

waterbreakdown

All the water we use is normal tap water, taken from local utility companies.  We use water for three purposes:

  • domestic water (for drinking and in bathrooms, cafeteria kitchens etc);

  • cooling for all lithographic systems and humidification of our cleanrooms and offices;

  • for the qualification of our lithographic (immersion) systems.

As part of our efforts to reduce our water footprint, we introduced a new worldwide shared reporting protocol for water use in 2011. Our businesses in Veldhoven, Wilton and Linkou report data on three items:

  • water intake;

  • water used during production process in cleanrooms;

  • water discharge. 

In line with the new water reporting protocol, as a part of the Water Master Plan, we will improve the measuring of our water intake and the three subsequent water streams (domestic, cooling and process water) in 2012. We will install additional water meters as needed at our buildings and installations across ASML sites in Europe, the USA and Asia. This will result in a clearer view of where and how we are using water. With this detailed information, we will be able to determine what measures will have the most impact in both reducing water usage and increasing recycling of process water.

We are also planning to introduce better measurement of water discharge, which is currently drained into the sewage system. Almost all water (73% of intake tap water) is discharged into the sewage system. The non-discharged water comprises evaporation of the cooling towers (18%) and steam (9%). Water used in our cleanrooms for the process can be re-used to a great extent. In our newer cleanrooms in Veldhoven, we already re-use the majority of our process water (Ultra Pure Water). In Linkou water usage was reduced in 2011 by installing an Ultra Pure Water reclaim system and by optimizing process water usage.

The water data is consolidated at corporate level and reported quarterly to the Sustainability Board.

watersales

External experts audited our Veldhoven site in 2011 to identify water-saving opportunities. In Wilton and Linkou, internal audits are being conducted and will be finalized in Q1 2012.  All audit conclusions will be reviewed and appropriate actions will be taken in 2012. The quality of the waste water is monitored twice a year within the scope of the ISO 14001 certified environmental management system. In 2011, two minor excesses of the waste water permit requirements were identified in Veldhoven with respect to zinc. These excesses were caused by building activities on and around ASML premises. Zinc is historically present in the soil and groundwater in this area and is known to accumulate in dust. The relevant authorities were notified about the excesses. No further actions are required. 

Furthermore, acidity measurements are continuously performed on process water. Only waste water with acidity between 6.5 and 10 is discharged into the municipal sewage system.

Total tap water used ASML Holding N.V. (x1,000 m3)2008200920102011
Total tap water used (x1,000 m3)681692686641

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