The semiconductor industry was challenged by a difficult economic scenario and structural changes in the market last year.

The sixteenth annual Sustainability report from semiconductor company STMicroelectronics shows that this industry also had problems due to end-customer competitive dynamics.

In 2012, ST was successful in reaching several sustainability goals and could recycle over 45 percent of all water used at its facilities located in different parts of the world.

The company increased the percentage of green energy purchased, from four percent in 2011 to 7.4 percent in 2012; and obtained ISO 14064 certification for scope 1 and scope 2 emissions based on 2012 results for all 12 of its manufacturing sites.

"The key to revitalising the world's economy and addressing its social and environmental challenges lies in the efforts of innovation-driven enterprises that are sustainable in every way -- financially, socially and ecologically," said Carlo Bozotti, president and CEO of ST.

100% eco-design by 2015

ST aims to have 100 percent of its new devices eco-designed by 2015. It increased by 85 percent its green energy purchase and further improved its water recycling rate by six percent last year.

Three of its Front-end manufacturing sites have achieved ISO 50001 level, the well known international energy management system certification.

ST is a committed member of the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition, and through its supply chain management programme, it implemented further controls designed to ensure that it does not source minerals from conflict zones.

It focused on very specific training programmes last year to boost the skills of its sales and marketing as well as its research & development people. It also reinforced the way it develops individual career paths for technical people through a dedicated process.

"All of us at ST are proud of what we have achieved in these areas in the 26 years since our foundation and we will continue to pursue this path, further developing our rich heritage of innovation to achieve our vision to be everywhere that microelectronics makes a positive contribution to people's lives," added Bozotti.