Samsung Electronics has announced its new environmental strategy 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 Korean tech giant said. 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.
Samsung has also joined RE100, a global initiative dedicated to pursuing 100% renewable energy. As part of this commitment, the company plans to match the electric power needs of all international markets where it operates, outside of Korea, with renewable energy within five years.
“The climate crisis is one of the greatest challenges of our time. The consequences of inaction are unimaginable and require 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 said its 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 said it will invest over KRW7 trillion (US$5.03 billion) 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 the expansion of renewable energy use.
Net zero by 2050
Samsung said it plans to achieve net zero direct and indirect carbon emissions by 2050. By reaching net zero carbon emissions, Samsung 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 said it 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 will continue to expand waste heat utilization facilities and consider introducing electric heat sources to reduce LNG boiler usage.
As part of the RE100, Samsung plans to run all operations outside of Korea as well as the DX Division on renewable energy within five years. The company’s renewable energy sourcing methods will include signing power purchase agreements (PPA), purchasing renewable energy certificates and participating in green pricing programs.
RE100 cites Korea, where many of Samsung Electronics’ production facilities are based, as one of the most challenging countries to source renewable energy. This is in part due to the country’s renewable energy market, where procurement options for corporations have begun to expand but remain limited. Additionally, the electric power needs of semiconductor manufacturing facilities have continued to increase with the expansion of Samsung Electronics’ production capacity to meet global demand.