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metrics are tracked and documented at the facility and corporate level: energy consumption, CO2e emissions, water withdrawn, water discharged, recycled water, total waste generation and disposal.
of electricity from solar sources was generated on site in four locations
Recycled ~734,000 m3 of water – 13% more than the previous year
More than 102,000 tonnes of waste recycled, an increase of 10% from 2015
Replaced and installed more than 43,000 LED light fixtures manufactured by Flex Lighting Solutions in 8 countries. These changes resulted in the reduction of more than 22,600,000 KWh/year and helped reduce CO2 emissions by 15,900 tonnes
Flex Energy Solutions manufactured PV modules and solar trackers that produced power equivalent to the energy needed to run 782,264 homes
NEXTracker, a Flex company, is named a 2016 Edison Award Winner
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. New water recycling projects are being evaluated in Asia and Americas. Our facility in Turkey provides 40 percent of its monthly water requirements through rainwater collection.
Flex reports to the CDP Supply Chain Program (inclusive of water management, WDP section) 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.
In four years, Flex has replaced and installed more than 85,000 LED light fixtures manufactured by Flex Lightning Solutions in 12 countries (Brazil, China, Hungary, India, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Poland, Romania, Switzerland, Ukraine and U.S.). These changes resulted in the reduction of more than 61,000,000 kWh/year*, which could power more than 5,600 homes for one year. This global project helped Flex reduce CO2 emissions around 43,000 tonnes along the life of this program.
* 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. We plan to implement this program in more locations across Americas and Asia in 2017.
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.
Earth Day 2017
In 2017, Flex launched its first Earth Day Challenge with a participation of 61 sites from 21 countries with over 260 initiatives. More than 80,000 employees participated worldwide to reduce their environmental impact and support the environment in their local communities.
Flex energy solutions and NEXTracker, a Flex Company, contribute to solar market growth by offering a wide range of solutions that improve and expand the adoption of clean energy. Favorable renewable energy policies enable solar adoption as more countries set aggressive targets to transforms their grids and expand industrial development and job creation.
Recycling up to nine tonnes of solder paste annually
Guadalajara South, Mexico
A new waste segregation process was implemented in the manufacturing lines to avoid waste contamination and maximize the amount of waste recycled. By deploying specific alloy (leaded and lead-free) solder paste recycling containers, the material is recaptured more efficiently. Flex also conducts ongoing audits across the facility to ensure compliance.
Wastewater treatment plants upgrades
In order to meet new wastewater standards for PCB companies in China, Multek, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Flex, upgraded their wastewater treatment plants and will build a new one. The project will be completed in 2017, when preliminary tangible results will be obtained.
Recycling in motion
To protect intellectual property, the site developed procedures and tools to destroy material integrity. The material is separated by commodity, shredded, milled, packed and properly disposed. Since 2014, 462 tonnes per month on average have been recycled. Iron scrap consists of the most material recycled at 40%, paper comes second at 23%, electronic at 9%, and other materials at smaller percentages.
Management level in CDP climate change program
For more than eight years, Flex has participated in the CDP Climate Change Program. Every year we’ve shown a positive trend and are actively taking steps to reduce emissions as a leader in environmental stewardship.
1Climate Change score demonstrates company's level of environmental stewardship, and actions and approaches in managing climate change. According to CDP criteria, companies at Management Level are taking further steps to effectively reduce emissions, indicating more advanced environmental stewardship.