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Schneider Electric Spearheads Sustainability Drive In Semiconductor Industry



By Nurunnasihah Ahmad Rashid

KUALA LUMPUR, June 7 (Bernama) – In an era defined by climate crisis and environmental urgency, industries worldwide are under pressure to adapt and innovate towards sustainable practices.

Among these, the semiconductor industry, a cornerstone of global technological advancement, finds itself at the nexus of growth and environmental responsibility.

The global semiconductor industry, renowned for its critical role in powering modern technology, finds itself at a critical juncture.

Amid rapid growth and technological advancements, sustainability concerns loom large, prompting industry leaders to reassess priorities and strategies.

In a bid to champion sustainability within the semiconductor sector, Schneider Electric, a global leader in energy management and industrial automation, has embarked on a proactive initiative to revolutionise the industry's approach towards environmental stewardship.

In a recent exclusive interview with Bernama, vice president of semiconductors Henri Berthe outlined the company's pivotal role in supporting semiconductor giants worldwide in building and operating their facilities while emphasising the importance of sustainability.

"As leaders in energy management, we play a crucial role in optimising electrical architecture across various domains, including semiconductors.

“Additionally, our expertise in industrial automation enables us to streamline processes and enhance efficiency," he said.

In recent years, Schneider Electric has expanded its focus to include software development and sustainability, recognising the industry's shift towards digitalisation and environmental consciousness.

"With acquisitions like Aveva, a leading industrial software company, we are driving innovation in software solutions tailored for Industry 4.0.

“Similarly, our commitment to sustainability positions us as a global leader in helping companies achieve their net-zero emissions goals," Berthe said.

 

SUSTAINABILITY URGENCY

Highlighting the urgency of sustainability in the semiconductor industry, Berthe underscored the pressing need for accelerated decarbonisation efforts amid escalating climate change concerns.

"The semiconductor industry emits approximately 100 million tons of carbon dioxide in 2021, presenting a significant challenge to reconcile growth with environmental responsibility.

"With the industry poised to double in value to US$1 trillion within a decade, the challenge of reconciling growth with sustainability becomes increasingly urgent,” he said.

Despite ambitious commitments from industry players, including renowned companies like Intel, challenges loom large, he said.

“Rapid industry growth, coupled with technological advancements demanding increased energy consumption, presents a formidable obstacle to sustainability efforts,” he said.

He said sustainable growth must be balanced with accelerating the path to net zero.

“Despite the industry's commitment to sustainability, challenges such as the shortage of skilled talent and the rapid technological advancements remain significant hurdles.

“In response to these challenges, Schneider Electric is pioneering innovative solutions, with a particular emphasis on digitisation and energy efficiency,” he said.

Berthe outlined the company's strategy, which includes helping companies strategise, set emission targets, and accelerate their path to net zero through digitisation and renewable energy adoption.

"Energy efficiency is paramount, particularly in East Asia, where access to renewable energy remains a pivotal concern,” he said.

Digitisation has emerged as a crucial tool in reducing environmental impact. With data analysis and artificial intelligence (AI)-driven solutions, digitisation offers avenues for energy efficiency improvements.

It can also optimise energy usage and streamline supply chain operations, minimising environmental impact, he said. 

 

COLLABORATIVE EFFORT

Addressing talent shortages in the industry, Berthe highlighted collaborative efforts (are needed) to nurture software development expertise, ensuring a steady influx of skilled professionals to propel sustainability initiatives forward.

He also addressed concerns surrounding semiconductor shortages, expressing cautious optimism about the industry's ability to meet growing demand while maintaining a sustainable trajectory.

With Malaysia emerging as a key semiconductor hub, Berthe commended the nation's strides towards sustainability and urged a steadfast commitment from stakeholders to realise its full potential.

“With the Malaysian Prime Minister's pledge towards a national semiconductor strategy, the country stands poised to contribute significantly to global sustainability efforts.

“It is timely and essential to capitalise on future growth opportunities,” he added.

As the world races against time to combat climate change, the semiconductor industry's journey towards sustainability takes centre stage, Berthe said.

“Collaboration, innovation, and commitment are the hallmarks of this endeavour, with Schneider Electric and other industry leaders leading the charge towards a greener future.

“Companies need to seize the available solutions and technology to pave the way for a greener, more sustainable future.” he said.

He expressed confidence in Malaysia's ability to leverage its competencies and government support to drive further growth in the sector.

Technology intersecting with sustainability in the semiconductor industry represents not just a challenge but a global imperative, he said.

“Only through concerted efforts and collective action can the industry steer towards a more sustainable path, ensuring a brighter and greener tomorrow for generations to come,” he added.

Schneider Electric's unwavering commitment to sustainability stands as a beacon of hope for the semiconductor industry, heralding a new era of environmentally conscious innovation and growth, he stressed.

In conclusion, Berthe emphasised the need for a collaborative ecosystem and strategic partnerships to drive sustainability in the semiconductor industry.

He urged companies to seize the available solutions and technology to pave the way for a greener, more sustainable future.

-- BERNAMA





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