ASML is the world's leading provider of lithography systems for the semiconductor industry. Headquartered in Veldhoven, the Netherlands, ASML employs more than 7,000 people.
The semiconductor industry - a $302-billion global sector1 – is a key segment of the electronics supply chain. Its chemicals, water and energy use represent an important direct environmental impact.
Semiconductors - or computer chips, as they are commonly known - are made of silicon, one of the most common elements in the world. The industry’s reliance on highly skilled labor gives it a strong incentive to offer good employment conditions.
ASML has a unique position in the semiconductor industry: we manufacture chip-making machines, not chips. In the semiconductor industry, most chemicals, water and energy use is related to the mass production of chips by our customers. Chemicals and water are mainly used during the manufacturing and testing stages. Our water and energy consumption is significantly lower than that of the mass chip producers.
Nevertheless, the technical performance of our machines will determine the use of resources by our customers and this topic is therefore addressed in our product roadmap.
Furthermore, our sector enables the continual introduction of new electronics products that perform better than previous generations and use less energy per electronic function. Also, by producing more powerful chips, our industry creates the conditions for the introduction of increasingly sophisticated equipment in health care, such as new-generation MRI scanners, and the development of the ‘smart grid’, a sophisticated IT-driven electricity distribution model helping households and companies to use electricity more efficiently. In this way, our industry helps improve the quality of life of people around the world.
1Source: Gartner 2011