279,000 tons of water form a day supplied to produce semiconductors. But then, do we let all this water just go to waste? Check out Samsung’s constant efforts to save, reuse and recycle precious water now!
Water management is an important part of what we do at Samsung. It’s both the start of workplace environmental safety
and essential to creating new products.
Our strict water management was behind the miracle of Osan Stream, and we were also the first in the industry to earn Water Footprint certification. That’s why we are developing more extensive water management operations, especially as the scope and importance of corporate responsibility continues to expand.
By thoroughly managing and operating at
a 35% water reuse rate, we are both reducing and protecting our water resources.
By thoroughly managing and operating at a 35% water reuse rate, we are both reducing and protecting our water resources.
Water reuse rate in 2020
We have also been developing technology to increase the water recycling rate. We’re creating wastewater recycling technology in response to changes in the environment, as well as gradually procuring technology that treats water based on the concentration of wastewater.
We already have the technology for type one inorganic wastewater, and are currently creating acid/alkaline wastewater with improved water quality. So to further improve recycling rates we will continue developing technology that reduces investment and processing costs, as well as treats higher concentrations of wastewater.
Untreated acid water
To be completed
To be completed
We specialize in water reduction and managing how we use water. Together with water quality experts, we operate over 30 technical training programs for our employees.
This has resulted in our Hwaseong site in Korea reducing the average daily water use by 3,844 million tons in 2020, surpassing our 2% reduction target.
After seeing such big water savings in 2019, our Hwaseong site was the first in the industry to achieve Water Footprint certification from the U.K.-based the Carbon Trust.
The Water Footprint certification is
given based on a comprehensive evaluation of a site’s water use and management over a three-year period. By earning the certification, our Hwaseong site became the first site worldwide to be recognized
for reducing water use.
|Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) certification|
|Taewoan Koo||Water withdrawal, Discharge water quality, Governance|
|Donghwan Kim||Aquatic ecosystem|
|Stakeholders, Water quality, Governance|
Osan Stream is a body of water that runs 15 kilometers through Gyeonggi Province in Korea and carries water discharged by Samsung’s semiconductor manufacturing plant in Giheung. Previously, animals struggled to live near Osan Stream because of the odor caused by a lack of water.
To increase the amount of water in the stream, we partnered with environmental groups to release a maximum of 45,000 tons of purified water from the Giheung site each day every summer. This water was such high quality, we were able to create a clean environment for the otters to raise their families. But how did Giheung’s wastewater bring back the otters?
We have worked to reduce water use throughout the entire chip manufacturing process, as well as purify
and reuse water as much as possible. To increase the water reuse rate, at each site we classify the water into four categories: sewage, wastewater, industrial water and ultra-pure water. Then each site reports how they reused the water through our Global Environment, Health & Safety System (G-EHS system) every month.
In addition, with the installation of underground water pollution prevention facilities at each site, we prevent contamination and ensure wastewater is safely handled through internal and external
Before water is released into the stream, we monitor it to make sure it’s up to our standards — which go beyond the required legal standard — then measure the water quality in real time using the Tele-Monitoring System (TMS) and send this data to the government.
Daily water reuse in 2020
Daily water reuse in 2019
We maximize the recycling of water by optimizing site operations, replacing old equipment and improving operation time and manufacturing processes to reduce its
day-to-day use — as well as building a recycling system and making structural improvements. We installed new water facilities at our Pyeongtaek site and
set our mid- to long-term goals of streamlining operations and reducing water use.
In 2020, we reused 147,000 tons of water a day at our domestic sites, a 6% increase compared to the previous year. Plus we exceeded our target of a 2% year-over-year reduction with daily water savings of 3,844 tons — all by changing the way we treat wastewater and optimizing operations.
Our sites are continuously improving our manufacturing processes and researching alternative chemicals
to use in wastewater treatment. In particular, we are developing non-hazardous treatments to replace
and reduce the volume of hazardous chemical substances further each year. From just 2018 to 2020,
we reduced it by approximately 18 percent.
reduction in use of hazardous chemicals
from 2018 to 2020
We closely oversee and analyze the discharge, transport and use of hazardous chemical substances. The Ministry of Environment (MoE) also actively participates in chemical emissions surveys and investigations. Through their results, we can analyze any fluctuations in hazardous chemical use.
We are also working on minimizing use by optimizing the efficiency of the process.
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