Skip to main content

Cleaner Chips: Decarbonization in Semiconductor Manufacturing...

by Prashant S Nagapurkar, Paulomi Nandy, Sachin U Nimbalkar
Publication Type
Journal Name
Publication Date
Page Number

The growth of the information and communication technology sector has vastly accelerated in recent decades because of advancements in digitalization and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Scope 1, 2, and 3 greenhouse gas emissions data of the top six semiconductor manufacturing companies (Samsung Electronics, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation, Micron, SK Hynix, Kioxia, and Intel) were gathered from the publicly accessible Carbon Disclosure Project’s (CDP) website for 2020. Scope 3 emissions had the largest share in total annual emissions with an average share of 52%, followed by Scope 2 (32%) and Scope 1 (16%). Because of the absence of a standardized methodology for Scope 3 emissions estimation, each company used different methodologies that resulted in differences in emissions values. An analysis of the CDP reporting data did not reveal information on strategies implemented by companies to reduce Scope 3 emissions. The use of renewable energy certificates had the largest effect on decarbonization centered on reducing Scope 2 emissions, followed by the deployment of perfluorocarbon reduction technologies to help reduce Scope 1 fugitive emissions. Technology-specific marginal abatement costs of CO2 were also estimated and varied between −416 and 12,215 USD/t CO2 eq., which primarily varied depending on the technology deployed.