We spend most of our time here at HotSpots blogging about new products and technologies. While that is all well and good, I wanted to step back from them and address a larger topic — our Environmental Responsibility.
Let’s start with Conflict-free Minerals.
The unique materials needed to produce certain types of semiconductor devices are not easily located – in fact, the need for rare and unique minerals like tantalum leads manufacturers to the far reaches of the globe in an effort to secure supply. Unfortunately, situations exist where sources of these materials are found in areas which are geopolitically insecure, and in some extreme cases, found in areas ripe with civil war and genocide. Purchasing materials through these channels often leads to indirect financing of warfare and/or illegitimate regimes.
The good folks at Intel are one of the larger semiconductor companies leading the charge to only manufacture products using only conflict-free minerals.
QuickLogic supports this initiative wholeheartedly. We are working diligently with our suppliers to ensure compliance. The international supply chain for conflict minerals is complex and tracing these minerals can be challenging.
We support the industry-wide efforts the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) and the Global e-sustainability Initiative (GeSI) are making to address responsible sourcing of minerals through the development of the Conflict Free Smeller (CFS) program which seeks to enable companies to source conflict-free minerals. The EICC-GeSI has developed implementation tools and programs for the tracking and elimination of conflict minerals in the global electronics supply chain.
We have adopted and use the industry standard Conflict Minerals Reporting Template and Dashboard developed by the EICC-GeSI to collect sourcing information related to conflict minerals as an element of our reasonable country of origin inquiry to verify the responsible sourcing of materials and to support compliance with SEC regulations.
We expect our suppliers to establish their own due diligence program to ensure conflict-free supply chains. We require our suppliers to ensure that the parts used to manufacture our products originate from certified conflict-free smelters validated as compliant to the EICC Conflict Free Smelter protocol using the CFS Compliant Smelter List.
More on our policy can be found here.
Perhaps less noteworthy, but still important, QuickLogic continues our insistence on being REACH and RoHS compliant for all new products. Global sensitivities towards the environment and needs for Lead Free Systems continue to increase. The use of lead and other harmful compounds in commercial & industrial devices is a growing environmental problem. Meeting the RoHS Directive (2002/95/EC) requires the removal of lead (Pb) as well as the following additional hazardous substances
- Cadmium and its compounds
- Mercury and its compounds
- Hexavalent Chromium and its compounds
- PBDE (Polybrominated biphenyl ethers) category
- PBB (Polybromobiphenyl) category
We are happy to say that we are RoHS and REACH compliant on our current products, including the ArcticLink 3 S1, PolarPro 3, ArcticLink 3 VX and BX, ArcticLink II VX, ArcticLink, PolarPro 1 and II, Eclipse 2, QuickPCI, QuickRAM, and pASIC 3.
Finally, internal to our company, we continue our efforts to reduce our environmental footprint. We’ve taken steps to dramatically reduce the power consumption in our Sunnyvale office headquarters through the optimization of our air handling systems of both our office and production areas. Additionally, we have completed a project to replace an older, more power-hungry office lighting system with brighter, low-power lamps. Both of these initiatives yield environment and cost savings for the company. We actively encourage employee car-pooling and the use of public transportation for travel to and from work and company off-site meetings, as well as thorough recycling and reuse campaigns in our production and office areas. We expect to expand upon these programs as the months progress, and are actively soliciting employee input on what we can do better as a company.
Heck – our CEO rides his road bike to work almost every day – you don’t get more environmentally responsible than that!
In closing, I appreciate your allowing us to deviate from the norm in this blog – profits and products are certainly important, but they must be accomplished responsibly and ethically, which we feel we are doing.