Pollution and hazardous substances

Waste and emissions management

Unimicron implements reduction, prevention or control plans for waste, air pollution and wastewater generated from operations. Through continuous implementation of projects every year, we continuously improve environmental pollution reduction, reduce energy consumption, and innovate in recycling, thereby reducing potential environmental impacts of the Company’s operational activities. Regarding waste, the main goal is reduction and reuse. Regarding air pollution, we emphasize the addition or improvement of equipment to improve the efficiency of pollutant removal. Regarding wastewater treatment, in addition to reducing discharges, we set up biological treatment centers and water recovery systems. In addition, we have implemented the concept of cleaner production and promoted various environmental pollution treatment technologies and management, in order to reduce the generation of back-end pollutants and the consumption of energy resources, actively moving towards the green industry goals.

Waste reduction Air pollution prevention Wastewater pollution prevention
1. Promote the waste reduction project, and increase the reuse rate every year. Improve the amount of waste reused based on the principle of balance of volume and quality.
2. Replace hydrogen peroxide with sodium chlorate in the recovery of copper chloride waste liquid in order to reduce waste and volume.
3. Reduce nickel waste liquid to reduce waste and volume.
4. Introduce an electrolytic copper device to reduce the amount of high-concentration waste liquid.
5. Improve the rate of stripping waste liquid reduction.
1. Improve the design of the wash layer to improve the removal efficiency of the exhaust gas treatment.
2. Install the high-pressure fine mist nozzle and the multi-layer sieve plate in order to improve the dust collecting efficiency of the cyclone scrubber.
3. Combine cyclone dust collector and scrubber to replace filter bag dust cleaning.
4. Use the new vapor-liquid separator to reduce the total amount of air pollution discharged from the terminal scrubber.
5. Design-patented, integrated dust collection scrubber.
6. Design-patented scrubber to effectively capture organic waste gas.
1. Set up a biological treatment center to reduce the total amount of wastewater pollution.
2. Establish biomonitoring indicators.
3. Develop biological treatment center 5530 waste liquid characteristics and treatment technology.
4. Establish two additional wastewater biological treatment centers.
5. Develop the water recovery system.

Air pollutant control

Air pollutants prevented from being generated during the printed circuit board production process by air pollutant control mainly include acid, alkaline exhaust, and volatile organic compounds. Unimicron strives to reduce the air pollutants emitted during production, and treats exhaust through high-efficiency air pollution control equipment, so that the concentration of pollutants detected in the past years are lower than the limits permissible in the government environmental protection laws and regulations. In addition to the basic air pollution control facilities, Unimicron is more devoted towards research and development in order to reduce the air pollutants emitted during production. The results of the research and development of air pollution prevention and control include: Modifications have been made to the front part of the acid scrubber. Now, removal of sulfuric acid mist can reach 75-96%, and the hydrochloric acid mist removal efficiency can reach 91-98%. The high vapor pressure characteristics of organic exhaust and the low vapor pressure of ice brine are used with the newly designed scrubber structure to effectively collect the organic exhaust, and the removal efficiency can reach 90%. The research and development results have obtained relevant patents and can effectively improve the efficiency of air pollution control. In response to the increase in production capacity and the expansion of Unimicron’s plants overseas, partial air pollutant emissions have increased in different degrees in 2018. The total emission intensity of air pollution per unit of revenue is 1.06 kg/million, which is 9% higher than 0.97 kg/million in 2017. In the past five years, the total air pollution emission intensity has dropped by 35%. Our goal is to continue reducing air pollution emissions.

Air pollutant emissions and intensity

Pollutant Unit Emission area 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Nitrogen oxides Kg Taiwan 16,305 17,295 6,349 4,059 4,106
Mainland China 9,658 8,184 7,853 6,192 13,410
Total 25,963 25,479 14,202 10,251 17,516
Kilogram/Million in revenue Taiwan+Mainland China 0.42 0.39 0.23 0.16 0.23
Sulfur oxides Kg Taiwan 5,702 8,188 4,235 4,642 4,638
Mainland China 3,812 5,332 1,539 894 4,136
Total 9,514 13,520 5,774 5,536 8,774
Kilogram/Million in revenue Taiwan+Mainland China 0.15 0.21 0.09 0.09 0.12
Volatile organic compounds Kg Taiwan 40,545 40,375 36,694 30,545 40,144
Mainland China 2,751 4,370 7,880 8,390 5,937
Total 43,296 44,745 44,574 38,935 46,081
Kilogram/Million in revenue Taiwan+Mainland China 0.70 0.69 0.71 0.60 0.61
Particulate matter Kg Taiwan 3,355 2,962 11,105 3,186 4,589
Mainland China 17,979 19,612 6,282 4,506 3,161
Total 21,334 22,574 17,387 76,92 7,750
Kilogram/Million in revenue Taiwan+Mainland China 0.35 0.35 0.28 0.12 0.10

Note 1: The unit of revenue is TWD.
Note 2: The total data of various pollutants was updated according to historical data due to incorrect statistics.

Wastewater treatment

In 2018, the total wastewater discharge was about 15.25 million metric tons, which is 4.6% lower than in 2017, and the discharge intensity per unit of revenue was reduced by 18%. In 2018, the wastewater discharges from our plants in Taiwan and Mainland China was about 11.43 million metric tons and 3.82 million metric tons respectively, accounting for 75% and 25% of the total discharge. The wastewater discharge from each of Unimicron’s operating bases is discharged into the designated stream or into the local exclusive sewage treatment plant after being treated by the wastewater treatment facility and confirmed to meet the effluent standards. After treatment, the wastewater from our plants in Taiwan will be legally discharged into the streams and incorporated into the local sewage treatment plants, including Nankan River, Laojie River, Dongmen River and Xinfeng River. The wastewaters from our factories in the Mainland China are discharged to the local exclusive sewage treatment plants, and after treatment, they are finally legally discharged to Maozhou River, Wusong River and Taicangtang. The wastewater discharged from our plants in Taiwan and Mainland China does not pose any threat to local river basin ecology or natural water bodies. In order to confirm the results of wastewater treatment, we actively review and improve the plants’ wastewater pollution prevention system. At present, the discharge levels of our plants in Taiwan and Mainland China are far below the approved standards of local regulations. We take the initiative to publish quarterly third- party testing data of wastewater discharge and explain the wastewater treatment process on the Company’s official website. The wastewater discharge standards in Taiwan have been tightened in accordance with future environmental protection laws and regulations. The efficiency of existing wastewater treatment facilities is under evaluation and the current conditions can meet future emission standards. To avoid the impacts of stricter environmental protection laws and regulations, we will continue to invest in efficiency improvement and expansion of wastewater treatment facilities, reduce source pollutants, and develop internal wastewater discharge control standards that are superior to laws and regulations to reduce impacts from environmental pollution, operations and production.

Wastewater discharge and discharge intensity

Discharge area Discharge destination Unit 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Taiwan Groundwater body + Local sewage treatment facility m3 11,935,870 9,481,066 8,038,160 12,350,424 11,426,257
Mainland China Local sewage / treatment facility 3,677,066 3,641,469 10,835,433 3,636,009 3,829,977
Total 15,612,936 13,122,535 18,873,593 15,986,433 15,256,234
Total wastewater discharge intensity m3 / Million in revenue 252.82 202.98 301.31 245.97 201.45

Note 1: The unit of revenue is TWD.

Waste production and reduction

Unimicron’s waste is divided into two categories: general business waste and hazardous business waste. In 2018, the total general business waste production was about 35,000 tons, which was 1.7% less than in 2017. Hazardous business waste was 72,000 tons, which was 25% more than in 2017. In terms of total waste output intensity per unit of revenue, the 1.42 metric tons / million in revenue in 2018 were 1.6% lower than the 1.44 metric tons / million in revenue in 2017, and 25% lower than in the past five years. Since solid waste and high-concentration waste liquid will be generated during the manufacturing process of printed circuit boards, improper handling will cause harm to the environment. Therefore, we pay great attention to the operation of the waste management system inside and outside the plants, as well as the storage, removal and disposal of waste, and carefully prevent pollution and harm. Especially in the waste management, we screened qualified firms and have a strict firm review and audit mechanism in place for the commissioned firms. Internally, we reduce the waste of raw materials in the process to conduct source reduction.

Waste production and intensity

Category Sub-category Unit Area 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
General business waste Reusable Metric ton Taiwan 33,734 22,447 18,719 19,826 21,676
Mainland China 13,537 19,153 19,918 11,697 6,815
Non-reusable Taiwan 2,860 3,482 2,925 2,050 3,223
Mainland China 4,708 8,430 9,017 1,825 3,090
Total 54,839 53,511 50,579 35,398 34,804
Hazardous business waste Reusable Metric ton Taiwan 17,780 24,848 15,542 15,988 14,729
Mainland China 42,973 41,393 39,631 40,184 54,988
Non-reusable Taiwan 204 86 51 412 1,286
Mainland China 1,614 2,095 1,464 1,143 1,388
Total 62,571 68,422 56,688 57,727 72,391
General + Hazardous business waste Reusable + Non- reusable Metric ton Taiwan 54,578 50,863 37,237 38,275 40,914
Mainland China 62,832 71,070 70,029 55,256 66,281
Total 117,410 121,933 107,266 93,531 107,195
Overall waste production/ intensity Reusable+Non-reusable Metric ton/ Million in revenue Taiwan+Mainland China 1.90 1.89 1.71 1.44 1.42
Total 1.90 1.89 1.71 1.44 1.42

Note 1: The treatment for non-reusable waste is incineration or landfill
Note 2: The unit of revenue is TWD

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