For more than 25 years, sustainability has been an integral part of STMicroelectronics’ DNA, values and business model. Working together with customers and partners, ST creates innovative technologies that bring an important contribution to overcome the environmental and social challenges of the planet today. Jean-Louis CHAMPSEIX,Group Vice President, Head of Corporate Sustainability shares his insights with EM on ST Sustainability evolution, culture and add his views on ST role in promoting stem education.
How does STMicroelectronics look at sustainability? How do you build sustainability into everyday business? What are the focus areas for India?
Sustainability has been embedded into the STMicroelectronics’ DNA ever since it was established in 1987 and hence it can be said that it has been an integral part of the business model and culture for more than 30 years. Sustainability has been built into everyday business as the Company’s innovative technologies have enabled customers to face environmental and social challenges. Even the global challenges created by the pandemic has created a condition, which has further accelerated initiatives on sustainability, It is done in a sustainable way prioritizing people and protecting the planet with a need to create long-term value for all stakeholders including employees, customers, investors and partners. At ST, we believe that the semiconductor industry is a strategic enabler of a more sustainable society. As part of our value proposition, we aim at designing and manufacturing products that have the greatest positive impact on the planet and people. We therefore develop technologies to enable our customers to create responsible applications for safer, greener, and smarter living. Our advanced technologies, such as SiC, GaN or FD‐SOI, enable low carbon applications and bring competitive advantage in terms of GHG emissions. Low carbon applications like electric mobility, renewable energies, smart cities, or smart building have been and remain strategic markets for us. We are a market leader in the design and manufacturing of safety solutions for cars, power solutions or motor control enabling products, in which areas there are ample opportunities for short term impact on GHG emissions. We also lead the semiconductor market in terms of ultra‐low power ICs such as sensors or microcontrollers
How has the Sustainability program evolved at your company?
ST’s commitment to sustainability has evolved since 1994, where there is a published long-term commitment that has also been recently updated through the Sustainability Charter which is public information and hence over 25 years of work done in this area has been documented in a formal Report. The evolution of the SUS program has been driven by clearly defined sustainable development policy that consists of major segments which can be further subdivided into specific long-term goals. These segments include creating technology for a sustainable world, putting people first, protecting the environment and creating long-term value for all stakeholders. ST has a unique product life-cycle approach from responsible sourcing to end of life. At ST, people are the priority, and so it is about health and safety, diversity, and engagement. Our sustainability program has also been formalized in the yearly results where goals for sustainability are published publicly for more than two decades. By choosing to publicize sustainable development achievements, the Company acknowledges the staff for their efforts in sustainable development, and the support of the customers. This recognition of the sustainable development policy also allows more external public perspective to understand ST in a more comprehensive manner through publicity. There are further plans to collaborate with our partners to jointly advance various development strategies including carbon neutrality.
What is the level of personal involvement in planning and execution of the Sustainability goal by Global leadership team ?
At ST, sustainability is driven by the executive committee. CEO and presidents own all aspect of ST sustainability. Our programs and effectiveness are also monitored by the supervisory board dedicated sustainability committee. The global leadership team looks at all stakeholders’ engagement, regarding governance, ethics, risk management, health and safety, diversity and inclusion, talent engagement, climate change, energy, water, waste and circular economy or community engagement. The executive team is for example engaged in full carbon neutrality by 2027, including indirect emissions, 100% renewable electricity and energy savings. The 19,000 ST employees eligible to short term incentive have the same objectives as the executives when it comes to sustainability index part of their variable scheme. The top management of ST is also driving for more than 10 years now a public program of Sustainable Technology to develop products and technologies that aim at positive impact for the society: Greenhouse gas reduction or people health and safety. On all aspects of sustainability, the company is committed on long term goals (33% of responsible revenues by 2027 for example).
How much importance, ST gives to diverse workforce? Could you please describe ST’s Diversity programs esp for India?
JLC : ST has always believed in a people-oriented strategy, creating long-term value for its employees who are over 46,000 in strength. We have a well-defined people development strategy, whether it is in terms of healthy and safe employee practices, fair and inclusive cultural environment, and policies to provide employee experience and participation. Even during times of the pandemic, ST remained focused on its people, and has continued to strengthen the maintenance of employee health and safety. We also believe in diversity and an inclusive culture that enhances innovation, engagement and agility, thus adding value to the overall business. Diversity is also one of the key drivers for its people-focused strategy, where employees come from more than 110 countries and no nationality accounts for more than 25% of the total number of employees. Female employees account for more than 34% of the workforce and many of them have moved into management or career technology roles and few have been recognized as the ‘Woman of the Year’ by external agencies. In India, ST has carried out several on-site diversity and inclusion projects, including the S.H.E (Share. Help. Empower) platform. Through this platform, female executives voluntarily take time to counsel female trainees and sensitize them about the challenges that women face whilst balancing work and family relationships and responsibilities. The S.H.E platform has been highly effective in building confidence in the women workforce since its launch in 2021, which has in effect provided the future leadership with gender diversity options and more than 32 women employees have volunteered to participate in its activities. In Asia, there are 29 internal trainers to deliver unbiased workshops. This year, there are several women in the leadership development path which is the long-term training path with coaching, workshop and networking. An executive program has been instituted called, ‘Women in Leadership Advanced Path’ specifically in Asia. In Singapore, there is the Girls2Pioneer program which is a 3-year partnership with United Women of Singapore. There is also an Asian leadership award in India that recognizes not only the leadership of ST but also the leadership in terms of diversity.
What are your steps to promote stem education globally & in India?
STMicroelectronics has also laid emphasis on STEM education both globally and in India, which is a unique program at ST which empowering the new generation understand how we can make the world more sustainable through technology. “STEM your way” program is also a business continuity and growth program as we need to attract a steady stream of talent every year. The project has helped the new generation of students bridge the digital divide and since 2003, over 770,000 students across 26 countries have received the STEM education. The project has also helped bridge the gap between the actual availability of qualified women workforce which is less than 15% and STMicroelectronics’ commitment of recruiting over 30% women every year, and has worked wonders with communities, especially in key markets of Asia like Singapore, India and China.
Link: ST’s 2021 Sustainability Report: https://blog.st.com/2021-sustainability-report/