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Samsung Electronics Announces New Environmental Strategy

by Milcah Lukhanyu
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Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd has announced its new environmental strategy, a comprehensive effort to join global efforts to tackle climate change. It includes commitments to achieve enterprise-wide net zero carbon emissions and plans to use more renewable energy, as well as to invest in and research new technologies to develop energy-efficient products, increase water reuse and develop carbon capture technology.

At the heart of the new commitment is achieving net zero carbon emissions (Scope 1 & Scope 2) for all operations in the Device eXperience (DX) Division by 2030, and across all global operations, including the Device Solutions (DS) Division, by 2050. The DX Division encompasses the company’s consumer electronics businesses, including Mobile eXperience, Visual Display, Digital Appliances, Networks and Health & Medical Equipment, while the DS Division includes the Memory, System LSI, and Foundry businesses. 

“The climate crisis is one of the greatest challenges of our time. The consequences of inaction are unimaginable and requires the contribution of every one of us, including businesses and governments,” said Jong-Hee Han, Vice Chairman and CEO of Samsung Electronics. “Samsung is responding to the threats of climate change with a comprehensive plan that includes reducing emissions, new sustainability practices and the development of innovative technologies and products that are better for our planet.”

Samsung Electronics has also joined RE100, a global initiative dedicated to pursuing 100 percent renewable energy. As part of this commitment, the company plans to match electric power needs of all international markets where it operates, outside of Korea, with renewable energy within five years.

The new plan builds on Samsung Electronics’ existing climate efforts, significantly expanding the scope of its programs and investments. Samsung will develop new technologies and implement further sustainable practices to enable a brighter future for all.

Samsung Electronics’ environmental commitment also encompasses an enterprise-wide effort to enhance resource circularity throughout the entire product lifecycle, from raw material sourcing to recycling and disposal. The plan also details investments in new technologies to reduce emissions from process gases as well as to reduce power consumption in consumer products. The company also plans to explore carbon capture and utilization technologies and tackle harmful airborne particulate matter.

In recognition of the need for innovative approaches around environmental sustainability, Samsung Electronics will invest over KRW 7 trillion in its environmental initiatives by 2030, including for reducing process gases, conserving water, expanding electronic waste collection, and reducing pollutants. The investment figure excludes costs related to expansion of renewable energy use.

Samsung Electronics plans to achieve net zero direct and indirect carbon emissions by 2050, with the DX Division achieving its goal by 2030. By reaching net zero direct and indirect carbon emissions, Samsung Electronics expects to reduce the equivalent of about 17 million tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent (CO2e) emissions based on 2021 figures.

To propel these efforts, Samsung Electronics will invest heavily in innovative technologies for treatment facilities that reduce carbon emissions. The company plans to develop new technologies to significantly reduce process gases—a byproduct of semiconductor manufacturing—and install treatment facilities to its semiconductor manufacturing lines by 2030.

 Samsung Electronics will continue to expand waste heat utilization facilities and consider introducing electric heat sources to reduce LNG boiler usage.

Part of Samsung Electronics’ pledge for a healthier planet includes ensuring its products are energy-efficient and use less electricity, while also ensuring that the entire product lifecycle is more sustainable, from raw material sourcing to disposal and recycling.

Samsung Electronics plans to tap new low-power technologies to reduce energy consumption in every day consumer electronics. This includes development of new ultra-low power memory chips that aim to significantly reduce the annual power consumption of memory products used in data centers and mobile devices by 2025 compared to current products.

The company will also implement low-power technologies in major models of seven consumer electronics products – smartphones, refrigerators, washing machines, air conditioners, TVs, monitors and PCs – with the goal of lowering power consumption levels by an average of 30 percent in 2030 compared to products with the same specifications in 2019.

Samsung Electronics will double down on efforts to improve the resource circularity of electronics over the entire lifecycle of a product, from raw material sourcing to disposal and recycling, ensuring that every resource is used with as little impact on the environment as possible.

Samsung Electronics also plans to maximize water resource efficiency. As domestic semiconductor manufacturing capacity expands, the daily water withdrawal needs from Samsung Electronics’ semiconductor operations in Korea is projected to double from current levels by 2030.

The company will focus on developing carbon capture and utilization technologies to reduce carbon emissions and clean air technologies to reduce particulate matter, which has become a pressing global environmental challenge.

The company will also develop clean air technologies, including new filtration systems, to reduce particulate matter and plans to expand usage to local communities from 2030.

Additionally, Samsung Electronics plans to identify and invest in startups that support innovative green technologies. The company is also committed to fostering ideas and supporting projects that tackle climate change through its C-Lab, the in-house venture incubation and external start-up acceleration program.

To ensure accountability, Samsung Electronics will have its efforts objectively verified by designated organizations. The company has developed implementation roadmaps for each environmental goal, including the net zero and circular economy targets, and will track progress and ensure robust implementation through the Sustainability Council, chaired by the CEO, and the Sustainability Committee, consisting of outside directors.

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