Toward a Sustainable Society - Elephantech's Environmental Information Disclosure Initiatives

Led by the growing momentum to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, greater consideration is given to environmental impact.

In January 2022, the California State Senate passed a bill requiring all companies with annual gross revenues of $1 billion or more to report their emissions annually for all scopes, including direct emissions (Scope 1), emissions from the purchase and use of electricity (Scope 2), and indirect emissions, including emissions from the company's supply chain (Scope 3). 1
Following the revision of Japan’s Corporate Governance Code in 2021, companies listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s top market – to be newly established as the Prime Market in Spring 2022 – will be required to disclose information following the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD). 2

Amid such global trends, Elephantech believes it a corporate responsibility to communicate on efforts made in reducing environmental impact, and has worked on the visualization of its own sustainability efforts from the three angles of “climate change”, “natural resources” and “hazardous substances”.

On a mission to “Making the world sustainable with new manufacturing technologies”, Elephantech will strive to make the electronics industry sustainable.

1: California Senate Passes Bill for First Law in US Requiring Companies to Disclose all GHG Emissions
2:  Announcement of the establishment of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) and the direction of standards development (dir.co.jp)

Elephantech’s Environmental Communication
Extraordinary savings in resources and energy

 

Metal Inkjet Printing Technology Drastically Reduces Environmental Impact Without Affecting Product Performance
Conventional manufacturing method (subtractive method)
subtractive method

  • A fundamental process of modern manufacturing that has been used for over 100 years
  • A major issue is that the stacking and scraping processes generate large amounts of liquid wastes, resulting in significant environmental impact
 
Elephantech's manufacturing method (Pure Additive™ processing)
Elephantech's manufacturing method (Pure Additive™ processing)
  • The method transforms nanosized metal into ink, forming a metal pattern and printing directly and as required
  • The printing process in itself has an extremely low environmental impact in terms of waste, water consumption and CO2 emissions
  • Inkjet printing of metals is an overwhelmingly complex technology, but Elephantech was the first - and currently only1 - company to succeed in bringing it to market and mass production
1: As of January 2022, based on publicly available information.
Our P-Flex PI Sample
Our P-Flex® PI Sample
 Climate Change: Effects on Reducing CO2 Emissions
  • We used Life-Cycle Assessment to compare the carbon footprint of conventional PCB manufacturing methods to that of Elephantech’s Pure Additive™ processing
  • The figures for conventional manufacturing methods were taken from Carbon Footprint Analysis of Printed Circuit Board1, a study conducted by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
    The paper mentioned above is a detailed LCA evaluation using actual data from Shenzhen Sunshine Circuits Technology Co., Ltd, and Elephantech also followed its evaluation procedure
Differences in each item between the Conventional manufacturing method and the Elephantech’s manufacturing method

Unit: kg-CO2/m2

Conventional manufacturing method

Elephantech's manufacturing method

Interpreting Differences

Materials - CCL/Film

15.4

0.19

Emissions from the conventional manufacturing method are primarily from the CCL production process (14.8 kg-CO2/m2), the elimination of which has greatly reduced emissions in Elephantech’s manufacturing method

Materials - DES

9.1

0

No DES process is required, resulting in significant emission savings

Materials - Other

7.0

6.4

There is no significant difference in processes except for DES. Looking at the breakdown, electroless copper plating has increased compared to the conventional manufacturing method. However, electroless copper plating was not dominant in the conventional manufacturing method (0.3kg-CO2/m2), resulting in a slight decrease in total

Materials - Waste process

9.4

0.47

Materials required for the waste treatment process are reduced proportionally, as water consumption is reduced to 1/20

Production energy

37.3

10.9

Plant-wide infrastructure and process energy.Estimates for Elephantech’s manufacturing method is estimated based on the actual data in Nagoya.
Energy savings due to a significant reduction in the overall process

Waste management

0.8

0.04

Energy required for the liquid waste treatment process is reduced proportionally, as water consumption is reduced to 1/20

Total

79.0

18.0

 
Compared to 79.0kg-CO2/m2 for conventional manufacturing methods,
Elephantech’s method was evaluated at 18.0 kg-CO2/m2, a 77% reduction in CO2 emissions.

1: Winco K.C. Yung, Subramanian Senthilkannan Muthu, Karpagam Subramanian, Chapter 13 - Carbon Footprint Analysis of Printed Circuit Board, Editor(s): Subramanian Senthilkannan Muthu, Environmental Carbon Footprints, Butterworth-Heinemann, 2018, Pages 365-431, ISBN 9780128128497, https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-812849-7.00013-1.

Detailed Comparison of Subtractive Manufacturing Methods and Pure Additive™ Processing for Double-sided PCBs
(Reduction in Water Consumption and Toxic Substance Emissions)
Conventional manufacturing method
Major item Process Typical Emitted Chemicals
Start material CCL(Film+Cu) Omit the waste liquid in CCL production
Drilling process Via hole drilling  
Washing Waste water
Catalyst addition Cleaner Alkali waste liquid
Washing Alkali waste liquid(weak)
Soft Etching Heavy-metal acid waste liquid (contains Cu)
Washing Acid waste liquid(weak)
Predip Acid waste liquid

Add palladium catalyst

Acid waste liquid, Recovery
Washing Acid waste liquid(weak)
Electroless Cu Accelerator Sn, Acid waste liquid (Pd contain)
Washing Acid waste liquid(weak)
Electroless Cu Heavy-metal acid waste liquid (contains Cu)
Washing Alkali waste liquid(weak)
Drying  

Electrolytic Cu

Cleaner Acid waste liquid
Washing Acid waste liquid(weak)
Predip Acid waste liquid

Electrolytic Cu

※None since it is circulated
Washing Acid waste liquid(Cu contain)
Rust prevention Alkali waste liquid(weak)
Washing Alkali waste liquid(weak)
Drying  
DF

Soft Etching

Acid waste liquid(Cu contain)
Washing Acid waste liquid(weak)
Drying  

DF laminate

 
Exposure Exposure  
DES Developing DFR, Alkali waste liquid
Washing Alkali waste liquid(weak)
Etching Acid waste liquid, Recovery
Washing Acid waste liquid(weak)

Stripping

DFR, Alkali waste liquid
Washing Alkali waste liquid(weak)
Drying  
Elephantech's manufacturing method
Major item Process Typical Emitted Chemicals
Start material Film  
Drilling process Via hole drilling  
印刷 Printing(Front)  
Drying  
Printing(Back)  
Drying  
Baking  
Electroless Cu Cleaner Alkali waste liquid
Circulate Washing ※None since it is circulated
Electroless Cu Heavy-metal acid waste liquid (contains Cu)
Washing Alkali waste liquid(weak)
Rust prevention Waste water
Circulate Washing ※None since it is circulated
Drying