Publication Date

Summer 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Studies


Katherine Cushing


Best practices, Corporate Social Responsibility, Environmental Responsibility, Report completeness, Semiconductors

Subject Areas

Environmental studies; Sustainability


This exploratory work investigates the sustainability performance and reporting practices in 20 semiconductor companies from 2010-2014 using content analysis, survey, and interview methods. The sample consists of companies that are either integrated chip manufacturers (ICMs) or semiconductor foundries with annual net revenue of $0.2 billion to $55.9 billion. A sustainability matrix based on the Global Reporting Initiative guidelines assesses the reporting completeness. Sustainability performance is measured based on two factors, identification of trends in social and environmental data and adoption of 28 sustainability best practices specific to this manufacturing sector. The majority of the resource use and emissions data followed a decreasing trend during 2010-2014. The study found ethical responsibility and concern for society and the environment to be the main motivations for sustainability reporting in this sector. A positive association between reporting completeness and the sustainability performance was observed, but based on the available data the causation could not be established.