Safeguarding the environment
We take necessary measures to protect the environment, conserve energy and natural resources, and prevent pollution by applying appropriate management practices and technology. The scope of our environmental management system extends far beyond what is typically found in an ISO14001:2015 system, including such elements as product environmental compliance and e-waste management. As part of our management system, we also have an Environmental Health and Safety Policy.
Our environmental management approach is intended to make all aspects of our business environmentally responsible and to avoid or mitigate negative impacts while helping our customers do the same. The following sustainability metrics are tracked and documented at the facility and corporate level: energy consumption, CO2e emissions, water withdrawn, water discharged, recycled water, total waste generation and disposal.
We reduced total water withdrawn by more than 1.4 million cubic meters as compared to the previous year.
We used more than 30MW of renewable energy on our sites across the globe, marking an increase of 5.6 MW from the previous year.
Flex Energy Solutions manufactured PV modules and solar trackers that produced the power equivalent of the energy required to run 1.9 million homes.
80,000 employees from 61 sites in 21 countries participated in more than 260 initiatives during our two-week Earth Day Challenge 2017.
We abated 63,299 tonnes of Scope 3 CO2 emissions through Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) Certificates from the Clean Development Mechanism from projects in India and China.
We reduced our Scope 1 and Scope 2 CO2 emissions through our energy management program.
Our 2020 Journey
Decrease CO2 emissions
Increase use of renewable energy
Decrease water consumption
Increase water recycling
Increase waste diversion rate
Increase the number of powered homes equivalent
Decrease cost of electricity to the grid vs. fossil fuels
We comply with material requirements and are vigilant about product content. Flex adheres to all laws, regulations and customer requirements regarding prohibition or restriction of specific substances in products and manufacturing, including labeling for recycling and disposal. Chemicals and other hazardous materials are identified and managed to ensure safe handling, movement, storage, use, recycling or reuse and disposal.
Flex has developed a full material compliance process that focuses on customer, regulatory and Flex requirements. We collect full material content information to calculate compliance as the restricted substance landscape continues to shift, thereby avoiding the need to collect new compliance certifications from suppliers as regulations change. In addition, Flex has its own specification of hazardous substances to ensure we control the chemicals used in our manufacturing processes.
As defined in our Flex 20 by 2020 environmental goals, we’re committed to reducing water usage in our operations through water recycling programs. We’re also focusing on water recycling and treatment efforts across our sites globally, including our water treatment facilities in China and Mexico. Our facilities in Turkey and Ukraine collect rainwater that is then used in those sites for gardening or in the cooling systems.
Flex reports to the CDP’s Climate Change and Water Security which helps businesses and institutional investors better understand the risks and opportunities related to water scarcity.
Flex has an energy management strategy that involves the development and implementation of energy reduction best practices, on-site energy generation through solar panels, buying energy from renewable sources, and replacing and installing LED light fixtures on sites around the world.
From 2013 to 2017, Flex has replaced and installed more than 110,000 LED light fixtures manufactured by Flex Lightning Solutions in 13 countries (Brazil, Canada, China, Hungary, India, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Poland, Romania, Switzerland, Ukraine and U.S.). These changes resulted in the reduction of more than 75,000,000 kWh/year*, which could power more than 7,000 homes for one year. This global project helped Flex reduce CO2 emissions around 56,000 per year.
* Assuming 50 weeks per year, six days per week and 24 hours per day
Flex reports to the CDP Climate Change Program, an internationally recognized system that facilitates greenhouse gas emission and energy consumption analysis. We have installed solar panels at our facilities in China, Mexico and Austria to generate electricity on-site, enabling energy savings and CO2 emissions avoidance.
Energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions are tracked and documented at a facility and corporate level. Energy reduction programs are in place to minimize greenhouse gas emissions.
The use of resources, including water and energy, and the subsequent generation of waste is reduced at the source through sustainable practices, such as modifying production, optimizing maintenance and facility processes, improving materials substitution and conservation and recycling and re-using materials.
Scrap and waste management
Flex manages and disposes of scrap and waste materials in a way that is consistent with social, environmental, legal and ethical considerations. In line with our Flex scrap policy, a new process was developed to systematically control measure and capture scrap and waste inventory, shipping and financial transactions. Four locations across Malaysia, Mexico and U.S. have already deployed this new process. In phase one we expanded this process to six locations in Malaysia, India, Mexico, and the US, and we plan to start implementing the program worldwide in 2018.
This global program directly increases our waste diversion rate, which is one of our Flex 20 by 2020 environmental goals.
Global scrap and waste management playbook
We work to advance circular economy through material reuse and recycling.
Global services and solutions
Flex Global Services and Solutions (GSS) offers value-added fulfillment, service parts logistics and returns, repair and recovery. Repair is critical for the Circular Economy. If this is unsuccessful, then the item is recycled and recovered for another use. We have two sites that carry out this operation, Sinctronics in Brazil, and our site in Aguascalientes, Mexico.
In response to the Brazilian National Waste Solid Policy, the Sinctronics Green IT Innovation Center, a Flex subsidiary, was launched in 2012. It transforms various waste streams into raw material that can be used to manufacture new products. This restorative and regenerative methodology is one of the key examples of a new economic sector, known as the Circular Economy. The company is turning a daunting social problem into a lucrative market opportunity.Their services span innovation and technology, reverse logistics, recycling, and education and inclusion. Sinctronics is a member of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation CE100 Brazil and is R2 certified since 2016.
Aguascalientes, Mexico recycling program
In 1997, Aguascalientes developed a recycling program to protect the environment and minimize landfill. Recycling capabilities include flexible lay-outs to incorporate new materials to be processed, material separation, optimization of water and energy resource use, and protecting the environment through each step of disassembly, separation, cleaning and pallet heat treatment. The site is also researching and developing innovative recycling solutions, such as a special tooling solution to improve the recuperation of high-value materials, like copper recovery through new peeling tool, silver pin recovery and aluminum special tool recovery. The site is R2 certified since 2014.
This year, Flex launched its second Earth Day Challenge with a participation of 71 sites from 20 countries with around 320 initiatives. More than 53,000 employees participated worldwide to reduce their environmental impact and support the environment in their local communities.
Best Initiatives Recognition Program: Reducing wasted energy
During 2018, the site in Skudai, Malaysia claimed the top prize in Asia with its program focused on reducing wasted energy in Senai. This team implemented several actions including identifying the equipment responsible for the highest energy consumption, reducing compressed air leakage, introducing a time control for the air-conditioning system, and increasing energy conservation awareness at the site.
Best Initiatives Recognition Program: Reusable plastic box produced from recycled operational scrap
Sárvár Ikervári, Hungary
An innovative environmental solution project from Sárvár Ikervári, Hungary won in the EMEA region. This team developed a solution that created a collapsible, reusable plastic box produced from recycled operational scrap. This project recycled over 240 tons of plastic, reduced the volume of return trips by 75%, and created additional monetary savings through reduced carton costs.
Flex is pioneering circular manufacturing processes that are making the information technology industry greener and more sustainable. Sinctronics is replacing, on average, 20% of virgin plastic with recycled materials, getting 95% of recovered materials back into the supply chain and saving up to 82% of energy over normal plastics production.