Rousset, France–Atmel Corp.’s FAB7, its leading-edge high-volume wafer fabrication plant in Rousset, France, has been accorded ISO 14001 environmental certification by the accreditation body BVQI. This certification recognizes that all on-site activities conform to strict environmental protection standards, which is of particular significance because FAB7 is located directly in front of Mont Sainte Victoire, one of the most prestigious and environmentally sensitive locations in France.
This award to FAB7 is a significant step in Atmel’s worldwide quality and environmental excellence program that aims to gain equivalent certification for all its operational centers. Like ISO 9001/QS 9000, which Atmel Rousset has already been granted, ISO 14001 is based on the concepts of quality assurance and continuous improvement. In order to obtain this certification, specific environmental risks analysis and mitigation, and pollution reduction programs have been implemented, regarding both the product life-cycle and the fabrication plant activity.
For FAB7, three specific programs were implemented. Waste water is purified via a collective plant on the bank of the river Arc, and is certified good for bathing before it is discharged. In addition, 25% of the water used in the Fab is recycled. Second, all exhaust gases pass through scrubbers before discharge, to eliminate harmful products like PFCs. Third, all waste paper, plastic, wood, and metal is sorted, and 45% is sent for recycling.
Atmel’s Rousset site is its largest installation in Europe, currently employing more than 1,400 people. In addition to a state-of-the-art 8-in. wafer fabrication plant, it includes design and marketing teams for Atmel’s industry-leading secure microcontrollers and customer- and application-specific products. Responding to the growing demand for Atmel’s products, the Rousset site is expanding rapidly, with the aim of quadrupling its fabrication capacity.