Akira Inoue Award Overview

SEMI Outstanding EHS Achievement Award — Inspired by Akira Inoue


The SEMI Outstanding EHS Achievement Award established by SEMI to recognize individuals in industry and academia, who have made significant contributions to the semiconductor industry and to society in the area of environment, health and safety. The Award honors individuals who show outstanding leadership in influencing the industry's EHS performance, and individuals who are responsible for successful process, product or material innovations that improve the industry's EHS record.

Akira Inoue – A Champion of EHS

The award was inspired by the late Akira Inoue, past president and representative director of Tokyo Electron Limited and a former member of the SEMI Board of Directors. Akira Inoue was a champion of environmental protection and employee health and safety within the semiconductor industry. He encouraged semiconductor equipment and material suppliers, laboratories, chip manufacturers, related industry associations and government organizations to collaborate on EHS development. His efforts were instrumental in establishing the SEMI EHS Division. Mr. Inoue was an impassioned and articulate advocate of environmental responsibility and truly believed that it must permeate our industry. He felt that environmental health and safety issues should be considered for the long term, and that the current generation must not leave a tremendous bill to be paid in the future by our children and grandchildren.

SEMI Outstanding EHS Achievement Award - Inspired by Akira Inoue Previous Recipients (2000 – 2015)


  • 2015 – Mark Durcan (CEO, Micron): Durcan is Micron’s Chief Executive Officer, a position he has held since February 2012. Previously, he held a variety of ascending positions within Micron, including Vice President of R&D, Chief Technical Officer, and finally President. Durcan’s leadership impact at Micron can be measured in four crucial areas. Micron launched a global occupational health and safety system, first receiving OHSAS 18001 certification in 2004 for all of its global facilities and further deploying those systems to acquired facilities including Elpida in 2014. Micron implemented an environmental management system at its sole Boise, Idaho site in 1997 becoming one of the first companies in the U.S. to attain certification under ISO 14001. Micron's reclamation system is a model for water-use habits in the semiconductor industry. Micron is committed to reducing, reusing or recycling chemicals used in its manufacturing process.
  • 2014 – Dr. TY Chiu (CEO, SMIC): Dr. Chiu first served SMIC as a Senior Vice President during its early years, from 2001 to 2005, before returning as CEO in 2011. As CEO, he has enacted SMIC’s current EHS Policy, created its first Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Policy, founded its first companywide CSR Program, institutionalized its Conflict Minerals Program, and, added environmental and social responsibility to its corporate mission statement. In all these areas, Dr. Chiu’s leadership reflects his commitment to do the right thing. To help ensure adherence to this commitment, he revamped SMIC’s corporate governance system and created a vice president-level function for CSR that reports directly to him. Dr. Chiu’s leadership has extended far beyond SMIC’s walls, influencing the broader semiconductor industry and society. Such leadership is particularly significant in China, where companies are learning to appreciate the benefits of good corporate citizenship. Dr. Chiu promotes corporate citizenship to fellow members of the Semiconductor Industry Association in China (CSIA), where he is Vice Chairman, and, he promotes cooperation with the global industry from his position on the Board of the Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA).
  • 2013 – Ajit Manocha (CEO, GLOBALFOUNDRIES): Manocha heads GLOBALFOUNDRIES Executive Stewards Council (ESC), the leadership forum for strategic direction and accountability for risk management, corporate responsibility and sustainability. Manocha’s leadership has resulted in significant EHS achievements at GLOBALFOUNDRIES including zero-incident safety culture, eco-efficiency in foundry operations, best practices for perfluoro-compound (PFC) reduction, and “conflict-free supply chain”. At the 2012 annual CEO meeting of the World Semiconductor Council (WSC), Manocha led the discussion of EHS topics, urging his fellow CEOs to take action to protect the environment, conserve resources, and achieve the WSC’s PFC reduction goal. GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ newest U.S. fab, Fab 8, meets the WSC Best Practice commitment for PFC emission reduction. At the 2013 WSC meeting, Manocha championed a “Conflict-free Supply Chain” policy to address concerns related to sourcing tantalum, tungsten, tin and gold from “conflict regions” of the Democratic Republic of Congo and adjoining countries. For its part, GLOBALFOUNDRIES has already met customer requests for “Tantalum Conflict-free” products in 2012.
  • 2012 – No Recipient
  • 2011 – Dr. Morris Chang (Chairman and CEO, TSMC): Dr. Chang’s leadership resulted in significant EHS achievements at TSMC in a number of significant areas, including greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction, air and water pollution control, water conservation, waste management and recycling, and safety and health protection. More specifically, TSMC achieved its voluntary PFC emissions reduction goal in line with its commitment to the World Semiconductor Council (WSC) and the Taiwan Environmental Protection Administration (EPA). TSMC designed its new LED and solar factories to address specific ESH concerns, such as wastewater treatment, air abatement, and process equipment hazards. TSMC fabs increased water reclamation rates by adjusting the water usage of manufacturing equipment and improving wastewater reclamation systems. New fabs were able to reclaim more than 85% of process water. TSMC achieved a 92% waste recycling rate in 2010 and its landfill rate was less than 1%. TSMC fabs in Taiwan have received TOSHMS (Taiwan Occupational Safety and Health Management System) certification to prevent accidents and protect employee safety and health.
  • 2010 – No Recipient
  • 2009 –Dr. Jong-Kap Kim (Chairman and CEO, Hynix Semiconductor): In 2007, Dr. Kim joined Hynix Semiconductor and declared “the second founding” which established four business principles for achieving the company’s vision to be the world’s best semiconductor company. Advocating Environmental Management as one of the four business principles, he announced a vision that would result in Hynix Semiconductor becoming the world’s best EHS worksite through a system of EHS and technology competence. Under Environmental Management, Dr. Kim actively promoted four strategies to realize this ESH vision: Green Products, Green Process, Green Facilities, and Green Community. Under this leadership, Hynix adopted an external environmental management monitoring system in 2007 and carried out environmental impact evaluations on business sites throughout Korea. The company participated in the Carbon Disclosure Project beginning in 2006 and became the first global semiconductor industry company to launch a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project. Hynix reduced SOx gas emissions by 34% and overall air emissions by 67% in 2008 compared to 2007 and crafted the industry’s first analysis method of ecotoxicity to control water effluent. Kim established a systematic energy reduction and investment plan in 2007.
  • 2008 – Atsutoshi Nishida (President and CEO, Toshiba Corporation): Under Nishida’s leadership, the “Toshiba Group Environmental Vision 2050” was introduced in November 2007. This Environmental Vision establishes targets for enhancing environmental efficiency of products and business processes, while concurrently working to reduce global CO2 emissions by supplying more environmentally-friendly energy systems and eco-products. Mr. Nishida’s commitment has resulted in significant achievements at Toshiba Corporation, including enhancement of Product Eco-Efficiency through the provision of environmentally conscious products. Nishida established business process innovations that led to mitigation of climate change through the reduction of energy-oriented CO2 emissions and other greenhouse gases. Nishida promoted greater efficiency in Toshiba Corporation’s use of resources, resulting in a reduction in the total amount of waste generated by the company. During his leadership, Toshiba established a program of comprehensive management of chemicals, resulting in a reduction of total emissions of chemicals to air and water.
  • 2007 – Richard Templeton (President and CEO, Texas Instrument): Under Templeton’s direction, TI made a priority of reducing air emissions, energy consumption, water use and waste while increasing resource conservation and energy efficiency. Templeton was instrumental in having TI construct the world’s first “green” semiconductor manufacturing facility. TI achieved the best safety rate in the company’s history and the best safety rate in the U.S. semiconductor industry for a number of years. TI led the industry in providing digital and analog solutions with low power consumption and greater energy efficiency. Under his leadership, TI received numerous awards and recognitions for outstanding ESH performance and environmental stewardship from customers, media and government organizations.
  • 2006 – Dr. Chang-Gyu Hwang (President and CEO, Samsung Electronics, Semiconductor Business): Dr. Hwang is recognized for his contributions to decisive and visionary EHS leadership at Samsung Electronics which has resulted in the introduction of innovative environmentally-friendly products and processes and operational excellence in health and safety for employees. During his leadership, Samsung eliminated 210,000 tons of direct CO2 emissions by waste heat recovery, introduction of more energy-efficient equipment, and wafer processing optimization. Samsung reduced by 57% of emissions per wafer of greenhouse-gas PFCs since 1997 by gas replacement, process optimization, and by use of new PFC abatement equipment. The company introduced environmentally-friendly products that save resources and do not incorporate six hazardous substances banned from most electronics by the European Union as well as reduced normalized water usage by 44%, equivalent to over 12 million tons, from 2001 to 2005 through recovery of ultrapure water and recycling of treated waste water. Hwang established accident prevention and damage minimization management systems, as well as programs to reinforce Samsung facilities to withstand higher levels of natural disasters such as windstorms.
  • 2005 – Gerald Ermentrout (Vice President, Air Products Electronics): Ermentrout was recognized for his contributions to advancing EHS policies and practices at Air Products which have resulted in operational excellence in health and safety for both customers and employees, as well as the introduction of innovative products and services that provide direct environmental, health or safety benefits. During his leadership, the company implemented a Basic Safety Process (BSP) which identifies hazardous situations to prevent accidents. As a result, Air Product attained the lowest US OSHA recordable injury rate among member companies of the American Chemistry Council from 2000 to 2003 – at roughly half of the industry average. He established provisions of turnkey operation of hazardous materials handling at customer sites, minimizing the potential for customers to come into contact with potentially harmful substances resulting in an average 93 percent reduction in incidents per container change since 1998, annual reduction of 8.2 million pounds of hazardous wastes and an additional 20 million pounds of raw material and process gases at the world’s largest specialty gas manufacturing facility. Additionally, Ermentrout developed a screening procedure that was adopted by the Compressed Gas Association to identify products which should be designated as “Restricted Use”.
  • 2004 – Isao Uchigasaki (Chairman of the Board, Hitachi Chemical): Uchigasaki was recognized for his contributions towards dramatically reducing emissions of chemical substances into the atmosphere and for pursuing a zero injuries and incidents policy in the company. During his leadership, Hitachi Chemical increased the proportion of green products in the company’s portfolio from 22 percent in 2001 to 69 percent in 2003. The company reduced by at least 54 percent, emissions of chemical substances into the atmosphere during the period from 2000 to 2003, as well as launched a campaign to reduce carbon dioxide emissions per unit sold to 75 percent or less of 1990 levels by 2010. Hitachi Chemical introduced abrasive free slurries for copper CMP to minimize solid wastes from CMP waste streams in wafer fabs and adopted safety measures such as the Occupational and Safety and Health Management System and the Hiyari-Hatto (“Near Miss”) program to pursue a goal of zero incidents and zero injuries. Under his leadership, the company reduced volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions by switching to aqueous photo-definable polymides and developers and started in 1999, publication of annual environmental, safety and health reports for Hitachi Chemical, which in 2004 were broadened in scope to cover a wide range of social issues.
  • 2003 – Saburo Kusama (President, Seiko Epson Corporation): Kusama was recognized for his contributions to advancing EHS policies and practices at Epson which have resulted in significant reductions in energy consumption, waste and greenhouse gas emissions. With his direction, Epson has also advanced “green” concepts throughout the company's operations and through to its products sold to consumers. Under his leadership, Epson established a General Environmental Policy at Epson seeking to reduce energy consumption at Epson by 60 percent of 1997 levels by 2010. Five new Epson manufacturing plants each consumed an average of 40 percent less energy than comparable conventional facilities, equivalent to the reduction of 21,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually. Epson exceeded targets to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, and achieved by 2002, a 48 percent reduction from 1997 levels. Finally, Epson demonstrated in 1992 that CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons), which are both ozone depleting and greenhouse gases, could be completely eliminated in Seiko Epson plants with a reduction of overall costs.
  • 2002 – Dr. Farhang Shadman (Professor, University of Arizona): Shadman established in 1995 the NSF/SRC Engineering Research Center (ERC) for Environmentally Benign Semiconductor Manufacturing. This Center brought together 13 academic disciplines from eight partner institutions, and is jointly sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the Semiconductor Research Corp., and more than 50 semiconductor and related companies. As the ERC Director, Shadman initiated and led efforts that have resulted in a major expansion of this Center. This unique program is the largest research Center focusing on science and technology of EHS for semiconductor industry. Shadman’s efforts have not only impacted technical EHS advancements, his role as an academic has had a profound effect on new generation of engineers and EHS professionals. His role as an educator has been profound – having supervised more than 50 graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. Besides, Shadman developed a number of novel water recycling methods based on membrane technology. These programs have been successfully commercialized, resulting in a 25 to 70 percent reduction in water usage per wafer fab and significant savings in operating costs.
  • 2001 – Dr. Craig Barrett (CEO, Intel): Under his leadership, the US chip manufacturer actively promoted the criteria of sustainability espoused by the United Nations Environmental Program as a realistic and worthwhile goal. Intel demonstrated this commitment by showing clear metrics and performance in social responsibility, sound environmental performance, and economic viability. As concrete examples, EHS criteria became a clear metric of selection criteria for purchase of semiconductor equipment by Intel. Supplier, contractor safety requirements and training were instituted at sites around the world. Intel’s started to report on environment, health and safety performance publicly on an annual basis. Additionally, Barrett reviewed safety incidences himself. As a result of his leadership, Intel reduced global volatile organic compound emissions by 12%, exceeded 65% solid-waste recycling goal by recycling 80% of solid waste generated in the U.S., and decreased injury rates by 43% since 1994. Intel received more than 50 international awards for EHS performance.
  • 2000 – Pasquale Pistorio (CEO, STMicroelectronics): Under his leadership, the European chip manufacturer initiated an unprecedented commitment to sustainable development and environmental protection. Beginning in 1993, ST Microelectronics launched an aggressive long-range company-wide initiative to establish the corporation as the world leader in environmental protection. Two years later, in 1995, ST Microelectronics summarized its environmental policies in a single document called an Environmental Decalogue, which defined precise qualified environmental targets. Environmental care was firmly embedded in the corporate culture and ST Microelectronics gained worldwide recognition as a leader in environmental protection – not just within the semiconductor industry, but among many industries. ST continued to focus on ever-more-critical environmental challenges and set ambitions targets, particularly in the area of minimizing impact on the earth’s atmosphere as well as water recycling, air pollution and waste treatment.

Nominations for the 2016 Award

Nominations for the 2016 Award are currently being accepted. Nominations criteria include demonstrated contribution, impact and strategic value.

More Information

For additional information, please contact Sanjay Baliga (sbaliga@semi.org) in San Jose.