TCL enables ‘greener future’ through smart manufacturing capabilities
The company has also facilitated green education and awareness programmes as part of the strategy.
The manufacturing sector is currently experiencing a profound shift towards sustainability, driven by mounting pressure from stakeholders who are increasingly concerned about the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) impacts of industrial processes. Manufacturers across the globe are recognising the importance of ethical business practices and are undergoing a comprehensive reassessment of their processes and technologies, with a primary focus on innovation and sustainability.
TCL, a globally renowned intelligent technology company established in 1981, is fully aligned with this mission. TCL's core objective revolves around empowering individuals through innovative technologies, and it operates across three core industries. The company's strategic approach to globalisation is underscored by an extensive network of 48 research and development centres and 32 manufacturing bases spread across the world, enabling it to deliver products and services to over 160 countries.
Under TCLGreen, the company's umbrella sustainability initiative, TCL Technology alone has made significant reduction in energy consumption, resulting in savings of more than 2.7 billion kWh of electricity in 2022. Additionally, the company has saved a total of 45.33 million cubic meters of water through the implementation of innovative solutions such as renewable energy and advanced water recycling systems. These initiatives showcase TCL's commitment to conserving valuable resources and reducing its environmental footprint.
Moreover, TCL has actively engaged in collaborative efforts with organisations like the United States Environmental Protection Agency, state agencies, and local communities since 2019 to promote recycling and education programs. These initiatives are aimed at fostering a green corporate culture and encouraging responsible environmental practices. In Europe, TCL has embraced the pan-industry Eco Rating labelling scheme, which seeks to promote a circular economy by evaluating user requirements, expectations, and compliance with regulations. These partnerships demonstrate TCL's dedication to environmental stewardship and community engagement.
Meanwhile, TCL's subsidiary, TCL CSOT (TCL China Star Optoelectronics Technology), has introduced smart technologies to enhance the operations of its display manufacturing facilities. Established in 2009, TCL CSOT has rapidly become a prominent player in the display industry, offering a diverse range of panels, from large-size displays to smaller screens. These panels find applications in various sectors, including television, commercial displays, information technology, medical devices, vehicle-mounted displays, augmented and virtual reality, and professional displays. The company operates nine cutting-edge panel production lines and five module bases strategically located in key cities in China and in India’s Tirupati, with a substantial total investment exceeding approximately CNY 260 billion (approximately US$36.5b).
TCL CSOT's smart technology integration focuses on improving human efficiency, increasing yield rates, enhancing operational and resource efficiency, and reducing energy consumption. In 2022, TCL CSOT achieved Level 4 certification in national intelligent manufacturing capability maturity, underscoring its commitment to intelligent manufacturing excellence. The application of 5G+AR remote collaborative guidance, powered by 5G technology and augmented reality, has streamlined processes, whilst the use of 5G+IoT for data collection and 5G+ automated inspection robots in specialised areas has enhanced data accuracy and process efficiency. Furthermore, TCL CSOT has achieved full-process automation in production execution, reducing human errors and elevating production efficiency and quality.
Environmental sustainability remains a top priority for TCL CSOT, which has implemented various management procedures and systems, including air pollution control, noise pollution control, solid waste management, and efficient energy resource consumption. In 2022, TCL CSOT has undertaken 657 energy-saving measures. Notably, the Suzhou CSOT factory’s 50 energy-saving technical improvement projects have resulted in a substantial reduction of 20.52 million kWh of electricity consumption and 14,400 tons of carbon emissions. Similarly, the Shenzhen CSOT factory has implemented 249 energy-saving projects across various units, with a focus on process energy conservation, management energy efficiency, and parameter optimisation.
TCL acknowledges the importance of addressing not only environmental needs but also human development. The company’s initiatives span a wide range of needs, including sports and entertainment through the Inspire Greatness campaign, and empowerment and personal development of women through TCLforHer.
TCL CSOT has also cultivated strong relationships with over 3,000 suppliers and customers, positioning itself as a trusted supplier to numerous mainstream consumer electronic brands. Additionally, the company allocates a significant portion of its revenue to research and development (R&D), with over 9% of its total revenue allocated from 2020 to 2022. This investment has led to a remarkable 13% year-on-year increase in R&D spending in 2022. Collaboration with upstream and downstream partners, including laboratories and universities, has enabled TCL CSOT to explore cutting-edge technologies, resulting in a robust portfolio of intellectual property, with 60,880 global patent applications and 24,211 global licenses secured to date.
In conclusion, TCL is proactively addressing the growing demands of ESG and sustainability by harnessing creativity and innovation. Through a combination of ethical business practices, technological advancements, and partnerships, TCL is poised to continue empowering individuals, fostering a sustainable future, and maintaining its position as a leader in the global consumer electronics industry.