2020 Sustainability Goals and Achievements

With our vision of becoming a leading corporation known for socially responsible practices, we continue to take active measures to promote strategic sustainability. Answering to consumer and stakeholder demands, and working with local government officials, we have incorporated meaningful sustainable practices into our operations plan, balancing our commitment to socially responsible practices and commercial competitiveness.

Establishing "ASUS 2020 Sustainability Goals" is our first step that we respond to SDGs. It is also the first time we have set the specific direction for sustainable development. We will continue to learn from the stakeholders from various fields and gradually establishing the overall framework of sustainability to integrate SDGs into ASUS' corporate transformation and business decisions, in hope of making contributions to the next generation and the environment.

ASUS consolidated inter-departmental resources to launch the 2020 Sustainability Goals, which were important to our sustainability transitions. The 2020 Sustainability Goals covered entire product lifecycles to accurately measure sustainability in regard to products, the supply chain, operations and social involvement. We adopted qualitative methods to describe specific actions and also used quantitative indicators to track annual performances as well as the achievements when 2020 came to the end.

 

Reach a growth rate of 20% with eco product revenue, compared with 2016

Products with eco labels represent that they have better environmental performances. Among the market, only 25% to 30% of products could achieve such strict level of environmental performance. ASUS has invested in the research and development of green products over a long period, hoping to reduce the environmental impacts during the entire life cycle. Products obtaining those international eco labels could strengthen the green competitiveness of the company.

The requirements of eco labels have become more stringent, such as the EPEAT standard since its revision in 2018, ASUS still actively registers mainstream products such as notebook computers, desktop computers, and liquid crystal displays as EPEAT products.

In 2020, we received eight types of eco labels worldwide, and the revenue from Eco Products was 81.3% of our total product revenue, with 26% increase since 2016.

 

Halogen-free components account for 85% of new qualified components

The halogen flame retardants have application in extensive fields due to their low dosage, high flame-retardant efficiency, good compatibility, and relatively low cost. However, halogen flame retardants have been proven harmful to the environment and human health under incomplete combustion.

ASUS reduces the use of halogen-free flame retardant materials when technically and economically feasible. With the support from our supply chain, all hard disks and batteries were made with halogen-free materials since 2019, and the use of halogen-free components reached 86.7%.

 

Reduce the use of PVC by 10% compared to 2016

Polyvinylchloride (PVC) is one of the widely used plastic. However, plasticizers and stabilizers that mostly contain environmental hormones or heavy metals that are harmful to the human body must be added during the PVC manufacturing process, and dioxin may also be generated during incineration. Therefore, from extraction, manufacturing, usage, and disposal, PVC causes harm to both the environment and human health.

In the past, PVC was widely used in electronic products due to its advantages in price and stability. ASUS had set a goal to phase out the use of PVC. In 2020, the Type-C charging cable of the new generation of mobile products uses PVC-free material, and this action will continue to be expanded in the future.

In 2020, the overall PVC consumption had reduced by 10.6% compared to 2016.

 

Achieve waste conversion rate in headquarters of 90%

The traditional linear economic model built on a "take-make-dispose" model requires the use of large amounts of raw materials and resources. However, this model causes serious environmental problems such as ecological deterioration, climate change, waste and pollution, and will brings great risks to the sustainable operation of enterprises.

ASUS had initiated the "Zero Waste to Landfill" program for the Headquarters since 2015 to establish a waste flow diagram through the material flow model and implemented various projects such as composting, resource reuse, recycling and remanufacturing. We recycled waste plastic cups made of Polylactide (PLA) to produce business card holders, mobile phone holders and other products through a remanufacturing process, and further prohibited the use of disposable plastic tableware.

Even though the waste conversion rate in headquarters achieved 88%, the relocation of the new headquarters at the end of 2019 and the COVID-19 outbreak led to use of disposable plastic tableware again in 2020 caused an increase in scrapped equipment and thus the conversion rate did not improve as targeted.

 

Achieve global product recycling rate of 20% by 2025

E-waste is the fastest growing household waste but with a low recycling rate in the world. Different from general household waste, e-waste contains toxic substances, such as mercury, lead and flame retardants, that are harmful to health and the environment. Inappropriate incineration or landfill could causes serious pollution to the environment and ecology, and greatly affects human health. On the other hand, e-waste contains valuable substances. The resource regeneration procedures of these raw materials form a green recycling industry, which is significant to economic development, human rights and environmental protection.

In promoting extended product responsibility, ASUS global recycling service in 2020 covered more than 77% of the sales market and recycled more than 12,000 tons of e-waste, reaching the recycling rate of 13.4%. We continue to work toward the target of a 20% recycling rate.

 

Reduce emissions in operations by 50% and increase energy efficiency of major products by 50% by 2025

Environmental change caused by climate change has had impacts on global economic and social stability, and is considered as the major risks in the world. Companies need to face the impacts brought by climate change on their sustainable development, and develop their mitigation and adjustment policies. ASUS supports the goals of the Paris Agreement along with the empirically created targets and solutions. Although we are not in an energy-intensive industry, we persist with a no-regret policy and seek to influence change across the industry to mitigate climate change. In addition to contributing to the environment and to society through innovation, we have integrated climate action into our operations policies by creating corresponding strategies that address major climate risks and opportunities.

ASUS headquarter buildings were managed through ISO 50001 Energy Management System and obtained LEED green building certification to reduce environmental footprint from operations. The carbon emissions in Taiwan operations were reduced by 20% from 2008 to 2020. At the same time, ASUS invested in energy-saving software and hardware development to increase the energy efficiency of main products by 29% with 2013 as the baseline year. Expected results have been achieved for the goals. Considering that renewable energy and the supply chain for low-carbon manufacturing have been adopted as strategies for climate action around the world, ASUS will launch new goals to demonstrate our ambition in mitigating climate change.

 

100% of tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold procured from qualified smelters

Conflict minerals refer to minerals mined in situations of armed conflict and human rights violations, especially the armed groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo and neighboring countries adopt forced labor, child labor, and other illegal mining practices for minerals such as tantalum, tin, tungsten, and gold (3TG) and later sell these minerals in exchange for weapons, resulting in directly or indirectly funding of the groups.

ASUS has implemented due diligence and assisted suppliers to trace the source of materials, and coordinated with suppliers to carry out a conversion plan to use materials from qualified smelter. In 2013, the procurement rate from qualified smelters was only 22% and gradually increased, and achieved 100% at the beginning of 2018.

 

100% of key suppliers pass the audit performed by a 3rd party and are in compliance with the ASUS Supplier Code of Conduct

Stakeholders have begun to pay more attention to whether companies consider fair labor, environmental protection, and cost reductions, as well as risks related to potential damage to the brand or supply disruption during the procurement and manufacturing processes. To build a more sustainable supply chain, corporations must consider environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors. They must do this in addition to considering the five conventional aspects of quality, delivery, technology, cost and service when selecting suppliers, in order to improve sustainability performance across the supply chain.

ASUS reshaped its supply chain management in accordance with the ISO 20400 sustainable procurement guidelines, making sustainability one of the key considerations for procurement. We conducted third-party audits on key suppliers and assisted them in continuous improvement to reduce potential sustainability risks in the supply chain. The performance of the supply chain management framework was evaluated by a third-party certification body, resulting in ASUS receiving the world's first ISO 20400 Sustainable Procurement Certification.

 

Establish an environmental footprint roadmap with the data coverage rate reaching 90% of product revenue

The product life cycle - from extraction, manufacturing, transportation, usage, and disposal - has impacts on the environment, and companies have the responsibility to mitigate the impacts. By performing an Environmental Profit and Loss (EP&L) project, we quantify the environmental impact and estimate the repair costs, and it is helpful to understand the hot spots of environmental pollution.

EP&L project monetizing environmental impacts to make them comparable and thus identify environmental hot spot and allocate management resources. Based on the evaluation results, new suppliers must obtain ISO14001 Environmental Management System certification to drive the supply chain to reduce the environment impact on the supply chain.

In 2020, ASUS completed the environmental footprint with data coverage reaching 90% of product revenue of notebook computers, desktop computers, motherboards, displays, and mobile phones, and the environmental impact of monetization will be approximately US$642 million.

 

The Social Return On Investment of the digital inclusion program reaches 5

Not everyone has been able to enjoy the benefits that technology has to offer. Barriers due to income, location, age, educational level, gender or race continue to exist. According to an evaluation by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)1 , the next generation needs greater digital literacy to effectively work, live, study and communicate. Without these digital skills, people will be marginalized in society because they have fewer opportunities to participate in the digital economy.

Since its inception in 2008 with the aim of bridging the digital divide, the ASUS Foundation has been building digital learning centers worldwide to solve domestic digital divide issues in cooperation with non-profit organizations, volunteer groups, and government agencies, promoting Digital Inclusion project. ASUS continues to develop digital teaching materials so that refurbished computers are no longer just a "donation" but also a medium that helps the recipients and users to master digital skills. In 2019, when we evaluated the influence of the program over recent years, we saw an SROI increase from 3.61:1 in 2016 to 5.7:1 by 2019.

 

Contribute 30,000 hours in volunteer service worldwide

ASUS is one of the "World's Most Admired Companies" evaluated by Fortune magazine. In addition to business activities, we also combine voluntary services with our core competitiveness to create connections with local consumers and deepen the market.

The ASUS Foundation cooperates with domestic and overseas school associations or non-profit international volunteer organizations to travel abroad to rural areas and provide education services in fields such as information and communication, Chinese language, ecological conservation, scientific and technology, to fulfill our social responsibilities. ASUS encourages employees to participate in volunteer service. Two weeks' vacation plus meals, lodging, and travel are provided to employees going for overseas volunteer services. In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic around the world, ASUS paused the overseas volunteer program under the premise of protecting the health and safety of colleagues and volunteers. Therefore, the hours in 2020 decreased, and the cumulative hours reached 29,482 hours.