TSMC has always believed that a sustainable enterprise must not only excel in its core business and pursue the highest revenues, profits, and shareholder returns, it must also fulfill its responsibilities to the environment and society, and serve as an uplifting force in society.
In 2015, TSMC established its Corporate Social Responsibility Policy, aiming to build on a foundation of sustainable operations and carry out our three missions of "Acting with Integrity", "Strengthening Environmental Protection", and "Caring for the Disadvantaged" in our daily operations. We gain understanding of the key issues of concern for our stakeholders through organizations in our company responsible for these issues, and have disclosed the results of our actions in the economic, social, and environmental dimensions over the past year in this report.
In 2015, TSMC continued to set milestones in revenues and profit despite a volatile global economy with our competitive advantage in technology and manufacturing. This enabled us to issue the Company's highest cash dividend on record, and achieved our financial target of at least 20% return on equity across the semiconductor cycle.
As the world's largest dedicated IC foundry, TSMC hopes to leverage its hard-won leadership position in the industry and move our supply chain towards sustainable operations. Therefore, in the space of nine months, we were quickly accepted as a full member of the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) and at the same time completed the "TSMC Supplier Code of Conduct", making labor and environmental standards a part of our audits and requiring suppliers to follow the EICC Code of Conduct.
In addition to achieving our targets in energy saving, water conservation, waste reduction, and other environmental goals in 2015, we purchased 100 million kWh of green power, becoming the largest buyer in Taiwan and supporting renewable energy with direct action. TSMC's Taiwan fabs have also completed carbon and water footprint inventories and disclosures, and have obtained third-party accreditation for ISO 14067 and ISO 14046.
Furthermore, to meet the challenge of global climate change, we established our cross-functional carbon management platform in February 2016 based on the three major directions of regulatory compliance, carbon emission reduction, and carbon credit management, aiming to lower risks brought by global climate change. At the same time, we have integrated our energy conservation targets into our purchasing guidelines, requiring suppliers to adopt power-saving and waste-reducing designs, and support raw materials suppliers' efforts to establish greenhouse gas control and reduction capabilities, working together with them to build a green, low-carbon semiconductor supply chain.
Our focus is on employee rights and social participation. Employees are TSMC's greatest asset, and we pay close attention to their physical and mental health as well as their work environment. Each fab must pass the Taiwan TOSHMS and the OHSAS 180001 occupational health and safety standards. In 2015, we added 3,800 additional job opportunities, and retained talent with competitive compensation, diverse training courses, vacation time above regulatory requirements, and an array of work-life balance measures.
We take the initiative to care for employees, and our employees are happy to give back to society after work, creating a positive cycle to make society better. In 2015, TSMC volunteers totaled 6,951 people, increasing 116.5% from the previous year. Our colleagues use their holiday time to participate in charitable activities including reading to schoolchildren, serving as museum docents, working for environmental conservation, reducing power consumption, caring for the underprivileged, and serving the elderly, totaling 48,917 hours of service. Some 9,600 people donated to the "TSMC i-Charity" platform, and total philanthropic contributions by employees came to NT$37,182,317 in 2015, funding projects for 65 schools and non-profit organizations. The TSMC Education and Culture Foundation, which has a lengthy track record of supporting the arts and humanities, expanded its scope in 2015 to help close the education gap between rural and urban communities.
Progress Towards a Sustainable Future
Corporate Social Responsibility encompasses the three dimensions of economy, society, and the environment. In this period of volatility for the global economy and environment, fulfilling corporate social responsibility not only supports the fundamentals of our operations and reduces or eliminates risk, it also builds sustainable value for TSMC and its stakeholders. In 2015, TSMC's sustainable management once again received recognition from the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, and was named the "Semiconductors and Semiconductor Equipment Industry Group Leader" for a third consecutive year, receiving the highest score in the group for the environmental and social dimensions.
With our vision to "uplift society", TSMC pledges itself to not only become an indispensable influence in the semiconductor industry, but also to serve as a force for sustainability that pushes society forward, to become a corporate citizen with a positive influence on society, and to build a better future for the next generation.
Senior Vice President and Chairperson of the
Corporate Social Responsibility Committee