ASPEED Technology firmly believes that business success and growth depend on the interplay of operational management with the pursuit of a sustainable development vision. As a leading fabless IC design company, we are committed to using green innovation, environmental sustainability, and social prosperity as objectives in the shared pursuit of sustainable development. At the same time, we steadfastly lead our employees, customers, suppliers & contractors, society, and other stakeholders in sharing the benefits of sustainability in this rapidly changing and competitive industry.
In 2012, ASPEED Technology approved the “Corporate Social Responsibility Best Practice Principles,” developed the corporate responsibility principles and revised annually according to the situation of corporate social responsibility and Sustainable Development Best Practice Principles for TWSE/TPEx Listed Companies. Recognizing the need for sustainable development in the corporate framework, in 2021 the Company revised the CSR Working Team to Sustainability Committee as a new functional committee under the Board of Directors. Led and convened by Vice President of Sales, the committee shall supervise and make decisions on sustainability-related issues while reporting on implementation of sustainability to the Board of Directors biannually. Under the committee will be the Sustainability Development Working Team, which will include the marketing and PR manager as executive committee and oversee five work teams: corporate governance, risk management, environmental sustainability, employee relations, and social participation. The Working Team will be responsible for overall implementation, including compiling stakeholder-related topics and promoting sustainability issues, and shall meet biannually with each work team to report on implementation status and future planning.
Sustainability Committee Operations and Objectives
Since establishment, the Sustainability Committee has responded to domestic and international sustainability developments and policies. Internally, the committee examines the Company’s sustainability policies. At the same time, it actively communicates with key stakeholders, including domestic and international shareholders and investors, employees, and customers, in order to understand expectations. The committee convened for the first time in August 2021 to formulate a three-year (2022-2024) sustainability management short-term plan. The third quarter Board meeting of 2021 approved the plan and discussed follow-up tasks. The committee pledged that before 2024 it would conduct corporate sustainability tasks in accordance with sustainable management strategies and the three-year short-term objectives.
ASPEED Technology uses core technologies to enhance green and power-saving R&D. By focusing on building a talented sustainable technology workforce in Taiwan, a robust system of corporate governance, and an inclusive society with shared benefits, the Company supports the next stage of sustainable growth.
Three-year Short-term Objectives
- Respond to energy-saving and carbon reduction goals by incorporating ISO 14064-1 :2018 GHG inventories at the organizational level. This responds to customer expectations and serves as a basis for setting future carbon reduction goals.
- Green R&D: Focus on core technologies and develop new products with more energy efficient chips.
- Develop sustainable core values, raise ESG awareness among employees, and build an inclusive workplace.
- Cultivate sustainable technology talents and strengthen employee retention.
- Exhibit sustainable influence and seek to advance women in technology industry.
- Corporate Governance
- Build a complete corporate sustainable governance framework and system, strengthen the structural diversity and supervisory obligations of the Board of Directors.
- Use the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) framework to evaluate the impact of climate change on risk management and responses associated with corporate governance, strategies, and financial risks.
- Respond to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA), and other international initiatives and ratings.
Risk Management Policies
Risk Management Policies
ASPEED Technology is a fabless IC design company. Having adopted a “fabless lite” operational model, our workforce primarily consists of R&D personnel, management and marketing staff, and administrators. We do not routinely engage in foundry production processes. Changes to the global economic environment and the potential internal and external operational impacts of sustainability risks underscore the importance of preventing problems before they emerge. Knowing how to avoid problems and respond to risk is critical. ASPEED Technology therefore formulated the Risk Management Policy, which uses corporate governance, environmental, and social topics as a foundation to identify risks that could have an impact on the Company’s sustainable development. The Company then crafts follow-up response strategies that are in line with primary areas of concern for our stakeholders as well as international trends.
Material Risk Management and Responses
To respond to unpredictable risks that emerge during the course of business and to be on guard against the negative effects of internal and external environmental changes, ASPEED Technology established risk management units that are overseen by the Sustainability Committee, under the Board of Directors. After considering various business continuity standard requests and following internal evaluations, the risk management units implement control and management measures. The management framework primarily involves monitoring, analysis, and confirmation of risks by finance, business, administration, environment & safety, and information security units. They then report on these risks to management and launch response mechanisms. Investor relations, media relations, and public relations staff communicate these issues externally at the appropriate time in order to ease any concerns of stakeholders. By identifying risks, managing organizational and operational risks, and formulating countermeasures, related staff members play a critical role in risk control.
ASPEED Technology carries out risk identification, analysis, evaluation, response, and tracking based on the Company’s internal organization and core business as well as external environmental conditions. Scope covers corporate governance, environmental, and social aspects and other sustainable development areas. In 2021, five material risk factors we identified were: interest rate & exchange rate fluctuation, research and development and intellectual property protection, supply chain management, information security, and facility management & disaster response. In 2022, ASPEED Technology will add climate change to current risk identification procedures in order to facilitate climate change risk identification, management, and discussion. The Company will consider domestic and international climate change topics, trends, and laws, as well as carbon emissions. Meetings will be held to evaluate climate change risk education and opportunities. Gradually, all departments will contribute towards identifying ASPEED Technology’s climate risks and opportunities.
Information Security and Data Protection
Information Security and Data Protection
ASPEED Technology is committed to information security management. The Company adheres to the Information Security Policy and 23 information security-related standards to manage and protect the Company’s information security and reduce information security risks in our network, in order to protect personal information and customer privacy, and uphold the rights and interests of stakeholders. At the same time, the Company actively publicizes information security measures to raise awareness among employees. In 2021, ASPEED Technology was not aware of any material information security incidents or cyberattacks, nor had it been involved in any legal proceedings or regulatory investigations related thereof. To further strengthen risk management, ASPEED Technology introduced an ISO 27001 Information Security Management plan in June 2021 and completed certification in May 2022. The plan will strengthen internal information security defenses and raise information security awareness among employees. At the end of September 2021, the Company completed integration of Cortex XDR 2.0 to prevent hacking, virus, and extortion attacks.
ASPEED Technology’s Information Security Policy and Goals
For business to proceed smoothly and to ensure confidentiality, integrity, and availability, ASPEED Technology formulated an information security policy that all employees must follow.
Information Security Management Methods
Since 2020, the risk management unit has conducted annual reviews of the Company’s information security policies. To support ISO 27001 information security certification, the Company made plans to change irregular information security education and training into biannual events that further strengthen information security awareness. The aim is for ASPEED Technology’s information security management to provide a more secure environment for employees, customers, suppliers, and partners. In 2021, ASPEED Technology's information security related implementation and achievements are as follows:
Information Security Disaster Response Plan
Ethical Corporate Management
Ethical corporate management is a core value of ASPEED Technology’s corporate governance and the highest principle of the Company’s conduct. The Company therefore formulated the “Code of Ethical Conduct” and the “Procedures for Ethical Management and Guidelines for Conduct.” It requires that directors and senior-level managers provide a statement pledging to adhere to ethical corporate management policies, and includes adherence to ethical corporate management policies as a condition of hire for new employees. When fulfilling work duties, all employees must act honestly and fairly while adhering to government laws and regulations. Board members and senior-level managers must also uphold ethical principles when running the Company. If the Company discovers that a business counterparty, supplier, or other partner conducts business in an unethical manner, we shall immediately terminate the business relationship and abstain from future business relations. These measures ensure effective implementation of our ethical corporate management policy. The Administration Division is responsible for advocacy and implementation of ASPEED Technology’s ethical corporate management. It formulates, explains, and consults on the procedures for ethical management and guidelines for conduct, while carrying out related procedures and oversight, including reporting and registration procedures as well as making periodic reports to the Board of Directors (at least once a year). The division holds regular and ad hoc meetings with employees to promote ethical corporate management, so the employees clearly understand related concepts and standards. The division also makes announcements to employees and discusses ways to strengthen ethical corporate management with managers. Employees must fully grasp the importance of ethical corporate management and practice it in their everyday work. When joining the Company, 100% of new employees must sign a guarantee letter stating that they will adhere to the Articles of Incorporation and ethical corporate management principles. Moreover, they pledge to not violate or infringe intellectual property rights. If unethical behavior is found, administrative managers and managers from related departments review the incident, make improvements, and report to the Board of Directors. ASPEED Technology has always upheld fairness and justice, which is why we are firmly committed to fair business practices. We are firmly opposed to anti-competitive practices and support anti-trust and anti-monopoly practices. In 2021, ASPEED Technology researched intellectual property rights standards and began to formulate trade secret protection measures that are already competed in 2022. The Company and employees will join to promote the protection of intellectual property rights and trade secrets. If any inappropriate behavior relating to ethical corporate management, anti-competitive practices, or anti-trust and anti-monopoly practices is discovered, employees and external stakeholders can directly report their findings to firstname.lastname@example.org. In 2021, ASPEED Technology scrupulously abided by laws and social norms. No employees were involved in any work-related bribery or legal troubles, and none faced any work-related fines or penalties in Taiwan or overseas. ASPEED Technology recognizes the importance of moral business practices and internal ethical control mechanisms. In 2021, the Company began to plan an anonymous whistleblower system that is overseen by legal and audit units, which used to prevent internal corruption or unethical behaviors.
Intellectual Property Rights Protection and Deployment
ASPEED Technology deeply values intellectual property rights, patent acquisition, and patent protection for critical technologies. In addition to formulating medium and long-term plans for intellectual property portfolio, the Company regularly checks with the product research and development division whether it is in line with the Company's future research and development direction. The Company also regularly reports its intellectual property portfolio and implementation to the Board of Directors every year. In 2022, the Board of Directors has been briefed in the third quarter. By 2021, ASPEED Technology had acquired 49 patents, consisting of 25 patents in Taiwan, 19 in the United States, and an additional five from Broadcom's Emulex Pilot™ business. The Company will increase patent applications to include more main markets and countries, in order to cover primary production locations and part of its sales regions. In 2021, the Company established the Legal Management Division. The division is responsible for evaluating patent application feasibility, applying for both domestic and international patents, and formulating plans for an intellectual patent portfolio management and a trade secret system.
Mid- and Long-Term Objectives of ASPEED Technology’s Intellectual Property Planning:
- Build an intellectual patent portfolio management and development processes for new products to ensure that the Company’s technology is completely protected.
- Design diverse mechanisms for encouraging innovation supplemented by evaluation processes with ranked reviews to encourage employees to propose invention applications.
- Build connections between the registration and management systems for our patent proposals and trade secrets, in order to ensure that all intangible, critical secrets are recorded in a centralized management system that provides better protection.
- Increase patent applications and the countries where we apply for patents each year in order to expand intellectual property rights protection and global deployment.
Intellectual Patent Portfolio Management and Development Processes for New Products
- When developing new products, integrate management processes for Patent Portfolio Management.
- Systematically examine differences between new and old products to determine the feasibility and potential value of applying for patents.
- Examine inventions that were not added to new products to determine the feasibility and potential value of applying for patents.
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