National CRE News In Your Inbox.

Sign up for Connect emails to stay informed with CRE stories that are 150 words or less.

Sub Markets

Property Sectors


National  + Weekender  | 
Semiconductor clean room

Sustainability Among Semiconductor Facilities

A spring 2023 report released by BCG noted that “the semiconductor industry is living a paradox.” On the one hand, chip capability advances continue supporting electrification and energy efficiencies, essential in reducing carbon emissions. But semiconductor manufacturing also generates significant emissions, “responsible for as much CO2 output as half of U.S. households,” the report said.

In response to corporate and regulatory scrutiny, semiconductor manufacturers are researching solutions to “decarbonize the sector,” according to a recent JLL article. The article referenced Taiwan, which pledged in February 2023 that it plans to reduce carbon emissions to reach net zero by 2050 “despite potential implications on its status as the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturer.”

One target for environmental implementation is day-to-day facility operations. For example, Dell’s Xiamen, China facility reuses wastewater generated during chip manufacturing for landscape irrigation. Intel has net-positive water goals to return more freshwater to local communities than it comes. These goals prove successful in the company’s operations in the United States, Costa Rica and India. Furthermore, JLL research shows that such initiatives can reduce utility consumption by up to 30%.

However, the problem comes with retrofitting an existing facility with this type of infrastructure. Doing so requires adding pipes, flow switches and other equipment, which “poses considerable challenges compared to incorporating them into new constructions,” the article noted.

“New plants are built at the best suitable sites with access to optimum supply chain capabilities and ideal infrastructure of the highest energy efficiency,” quoted Philip Goh, Executive Director, SEMI Practice Lead, Asia Pacific, JLL, in the article. “Existing plants, on the other hand, have to adapt and change quickly because of technologies emerging every three to five years.”

One potential solution could be artificial intelligence. AI can complement smart sensors around semiconductor facilities as they gather data about the capacity, volume and additional operational data. But on-site facilities teams need to focus on areas for improvement.

“Conducting an ESG audit, for instance, will help pinpoint potential enhancements from introducing efficient lighting solutions to the more complex capital expenditure projects such as upgrading chillers and exhaust fans to energy-efficient alternatives,” Goh said.


Inside The Story

JLLJLL's Philip Goh

About Amy Wolff Sorter

I love content. I love writing it, visualizing it, and manipulating it to fit into different formats. I have years of experience in working with content, both as creator and editor. The content I create and edit provides assistance with many goals, ranging from lead generation, to developing street cred through well-timed thought-leadership pieces. Content skills include, but aren't limited to, articles and blogs, e-mails, promotional collateral, infographics, e-books and white papers, website copy and more.

  • ◦People
  • ◦Policy/Gov't
New call-to-action
New call-to-action
New call-to-action
New call-to-action