Our environmental responsibility

Explanation of the material topic and its boundaries

We continually seek ways to make our products and operations worldwide even more environmentally friendly. Solid partnerships based on shared values that prioritize and protect the environment are essential for a fabless semiconductor manufacturer. The Environment section within this sustainability report relates to how u-blox strives to meet its environmental responsibilities.

“Our environmental management system is part of our product life cycle process. Before going into production, we ensure that all evidence of compliance has been verified throughout our supply chain.”

Our approach to environmental responsibility

The u-blox Environmental Management System (EMS) was established in 2009 to set binding guidelines for our employees and suppliers. We have a dedicated team that manages all our environmental protection work worldwide, including checks on the fulfillment of our environmental requirements by our suppliers of parts and services, product material compliance reporting, internal training, and continuous improvement.

u-blox is a member of the non-profit organization IPC (ipc.org), a member-driven organization and leading source for industry standards, training, industry intelligence, and public policy advocacy for electronics manufacturing. With more than 3,000 member companies worldwide, IPC represents one of the most reliable resources available. IPC provides its members with tools for environmental product compliance best practices relating to the electronics industry, including design, printed board manufacturing, electronics assembly, and testing.

Our environmental team regularly benchmarks and verifies our performance in alignment with the environmental requirements of our global customer base. They often come with questions and request verification checks to ensure their environmental requirements are fulfilled. In addition to the internationally recognized environmental standards, there are sometimes region or country specific requirements.

Each year we renew our commitment to our UN Global Compact SDGs with respect to the environment. We are committed to ensuring u-blox products are produced responsibly and work exclusively with suppliers who embrace the environmental compliance and governance of our transparent and binding environmental management system.

Our transparent and binding environmental management system

The u-blox EMS manual sets out binding guidelines for our employees, supporting them in fulfilling their tasks in accordance with our sustainability objectives. It is also intended as an information tool for our customers and distributors, as it provides evidence of the implementation of their requirements in our environmental management system operations.

Our EMS is part of our product life cycle process. Before going into production, we ensure that all evidence of compliance has been verified throughout our supply chain. We focus on legal requirements such as the EU Restriction of Hazardous Substances (ROHS) directive, the EU Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation and the linked SCIP database, the Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) regulations, and the Halogen-Free content according to IEC 61249-2-21 standard. We also check customer specific environmental management requirements for some substances and their concentration limit values in our products.

Non-use of hazardous substances in our products

From a product material data perspective, we work closely with our suppliers and contract manufacturers to investigate and document our product compliance. We attribute our green label to all products that are both RoHS and Halogen-Free compliant, and we are committed to developing products that are as ‘green’ as possible and REACH compliant. Besides customer specific statements, we provide compliance statements for all volume products as follows:

  • RoHS statement according to Directive 2015/863/EU
  • REACH statement based on the latest Candidate List of Substances of Very High Concern published in Annex XIV of EU chemicals regulation (EC) 1907/2006
  • Halogen-Free statement (if applicable) according to IEC 61249-2-21
  • PFOA and PFOS free statements to according to Regulation (EU) 2019/1021 and Regulation (EU) 2017/1000, respectively

Data compilation and disclosure of materials

Since 2012, a Material Declaration Sheet (MDS) or Material Composition Declaration, according to IPC-1752A, is available for every u-blox volume product at the homogeneous level. IPC 1752A establishes a standard reporting format for material declaration data exchange between supply chain participants and supports reporting bulk materials, components, printed boards, sub-assemblies, and products. The MDS provides a detailed list of materials, including all homogeneous substances used in the product.

An MDS for each volume product is made possible through the investment and commitment u-blox have made to environmental management, compliance, and transparency and by partnering with leading top-tier suppliers who share a similar commitment to environmental, safety, and health best practice.

The full material declaration data of components and materials used are compiled and provided by our manufacturing partners. For automotive grade products, we also provide IMDS to meet the obligations placed on automobile manufacturers, and thus on their suppliers, by national and international standards, laws, and regulations.

The International Material Data System (IMDS) is the automobile industry's material data system. All materials used for manufacturing automobiles are collected, maintained, analyzed, and archived into IMDS. A global standard used by almost all the global OEMs, IMDS is used to meet the obligations placed on auto manufacturers by national and international standards, including their laws and regulations.

Product life spans of more than a decade

Over many years u-blox has created a unique quality system that assures the delivery of products that are functionally extremely robust and highly reliable. Further, we are a renowned supplier to the automotive industry and comply with their very specific requirements for process and product quality.

Many of our customers’ products are manufactured to last and remain in use for more than a decade. Components, therefore, need to be robust, easy to maintain, and, where required, continue to evolve with Firmware Over The Air (FOTA) after they leave the factory.


Scope 1 and 2, and Greenhouse gas emissions

As a global company with a footprint across all regions, we are very aware of how critical it is for every company, organization, and individual to take whatever steps they possibly can to help humanity progress toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

This year, we established a baseline for our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  In 2023, we will set our GHG emission reduction targets and outline how we plan to achieve them in the following Sustainability Report.

Our GHG emission data collection process is in its infancy; thus, we are taking steps to improve our worldwide emissions data management system.

u-blox 2022 Greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) Scope 1 & 2

According to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG) standard we started by identifying emissions associated with operations, categorizing them as direct and indirect emissions, and choosing the scope of accounting and reporting for indirect emissions.

Scope 1: Direct GHG emissions

Direct GHG emissions occur from sources owned or controlled by our organization u-blox. At u-blox, the main emissions sources for this scope were identified with local on-site heating and cooling systems, as well as with mobile combustion of owned vehicles. The following picture shows the details.

Scope 2: Energy indirect GHG emissions

Scope 2 accounts for GHG emissions from the generation of purchased electricity and heating consumed on company premises; we used the approach to consider u-blox sites based on their “materiality,” i.e., we collected data for all sites with >= 50 employees.

Data for smaller locations will be summarized and extrapolated based on the results of bigger sites (refer to the following picture).

The location-based calculation refers to emission factors reflecting the energy supplier and production mix with reference to national, sub-national, or regional grid average generic data.

Instead, the market-based calculation adds granularity on top of the above data by considering the characteristics of the energy supply, such as the split of CO2-neutral energy, its supplier, and certified origin.  It is therefore considered a higher quality calculation than the location-based one.

Learn more about our Net Zero status as of September 2023.

Reducing our CO2 emissions as a fabless manufacturer

As a fabless semiconductor manufacturer, our direct impact on CO2 emissions is low compared to a traditional semiconductor manufacturer fabricating in-house. However, we understand that much of our environmental footprint comes from indirect CO2 emissions through the manufacturing of our products by our manufacturing partners.

Flex Ltd., our main module product manufacturer, reported their climate change data on CDP10 an “A-” rating for 2022, unchanged as compared to the previous year, 2021. Firmly committed to embedding sustainable practices throughout its operations, Flex builds more than 90% of the u-blox module products using 100% renewable energy. In addition, Flex was recognized by Ethisphere, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices, as one of the 2023 World’s Most Ethical Companies, along with 135 other organizations across 19 countries and 46 industries.

10 the not-for-profit charity that runs the global disclosure system for investors, companies, cities, states, and regions to manage their environmental impacts. A CDP score (from D- to A) provides a snapshot of a company’s disclosure and environmental performance; in order to receive an A- (highest score) or B, companies must demonstrate both awareness of their impacts on the environment, deforestation and water security, and appropriate actions taken to reduce these in line with the 1.5-degree trajectory laid out in the Paris Agreement.

Amkor Technology Inc., our main chipset product manufacturer, also reported their climate change data on CDP with a “B” rating for 2022, unchanged as compared to the previous year, 2021.

As for our silicon wafer producers, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd. (TSMC) received a score of (A-); however, GlobalFoundaries, Inc. had not received a score by the time our Sustainability Report was published, despite submitting their climate change data to CDP for 2022.

u-blox partners with top tier manufacturers in our industry with leading environmental compliance and governance systems in place to minimize our indirect impact on the environment. 

Minimizing business travel emissions

In 2022, we developed our Prevent, Minimize, Offset sustainability recommendations and have now launched these in early 2023 across four u-blox sites endeavoring to minimize our business travel emissions.

We asked u-blox employees worldwide to select a carbon removal project from myclimate which extracts CO2 from the atmosphere and stores it permanently. They chose a reforestation project in Nicaragua.

Removing carbon with myclimate by planting trees in Nicaragua1

Project type: Land Use and Forestry

Project location: San Juan de Limay and Somoto, Nicaragua

Project status: In operation, credits available

Annual CO2 reduction: 624,216 t (across 15 years)

This community-based reforestation initiative is situated upon a critical watershed that feeds into Nicaragua’s most important estuary, the Estero Real. This estuary is home to one of the biggest extensions of mangroves and migratory birds in the region and has been recognized by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance. By reforesting this region, the program plays a vital role in regulating the hydrological cycle, providing important water and biodiversity benefits both locally and internationally, and improving the quality of life of smallholder farmers.

1 Source: https://www.myclimate.org/information/carbon-offset-projects/detail-carbon-offset-projects/nicaragua-forestry-7186/

Environmental training and awareness at u-blox

u-blox’s commitment to protecting the environment and our awareness that our operations can have a direct and indirect impact on the environment is clearly communicated in the u-blox Code of Conduct document. Every new employee is required to review the Code of Conduct, and an annual review process is in place for all existing employees.


In 2021, we introduced an e-learning training program available on our corporate knowledge base platform to inform both new and existing employees on the critical aspects of the u-blox Environmental Management System. In 2022, 154 u-blox employees working closely with the material data compliance report topic completed or refreshed their EMS training for the first time.

Conflict minerals

Here you can download a summary of our conflict minerals policy.

2022 Sustainability Report