Samsung Electronics is tackling climate change through a complex and comprehensive approach. Achieving net zero direct and indirect carbon emissions by 2050 and developing carbon capture and utilization technologies to reduce emissions are some of the strong commitments the company announced recently as part of its new sustainability strategy.
By Anda Sebesi
This fall, South Korean manufacturer Samsung Electronics 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, plans to use more renewable energy, as well as investments in new technologies that will allow the company to develop energy-efficient products, increase water reuse, and implement carbon capture technology. Samsung Electronics has also joined RE100, a global initiative dedicated to pursuing 100% renewable energy. As part of this commitment, within five years the company plans to match the electricity needs of all the international markets where it operates outside of Korea with renewable energy generation.
“The climate crisis is one of the greatest challenges of our time, and the consequences of inaction are unimaginable. Every one of us must contribute to the effort, including businesses and governments. Samsung is responding to the threat 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,” said Jong-Hee Han, Vice Chairman and CEO of Samsung Electronics.
Furthermore, in September this year, at the International Consumer Electronics Fair (IFA), the company unveiled its vision for adopting a smart lifestyle in order to provide a sustainable future for next generations. The challenging context of the recent years has led consumers worldwide to become increasingly aware of their impact on the environment and eager to adopt a greener and more responsible behaviour. They want to actively contribute to the creation of a more sustainable environment and lifestyle, and they want to use brands with whom they share the same values in terms of sustainability. “Consumers have an increased need for sustainable alternatives and we are happy to meet their needs by offering them the most up-to-date smart home appliances, which generate energy savings. By using efficient home appliances that are synergetic with our SmartThings solution, we want that home experience to be genuinely sustainable,” said JaeSeung Lee, president and manager of the Digital
Appliances Division at Samsung Electronics. The environmental commitment made by Samsung Electronics includes 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 aims to explore carbon capture and utilization technologies and tackle harmful airborne particulate matter.
In acknowledgement of the need for innovative approaches around environmental sustainability, Samsung Electronics will invest over KRW 7 trillion (about USD 5.1 billion) in its environmental initiatives by 2030. The investment figure will be aimed at reducing process gases, conserving water, expanding electronic waste collection, and reducing pollutants and excludes costs related to the expansion of renewable energy use.
A focus on self-sustainable homes
Samsung Electronics seeks to become the No.1 brand when it comes to energy efficiency. To do this, the company has intensified its ongoing efforts and collaborations in order to provide its customers with solutions that can help households cut their energy consumption down to zero. In addition, Samsung’s brand vision is to create a comfortable, energy self-sufficient, and minimum-emission home. In its attempt to become a market leader in the energy efficiency technologies segment, Samsung has developed partnerships with companies that have similar goals. For example, together with Patagonia, a US-based company specializing in outdoor clothing and gear for silent sports, Samsung developed a new washing machine technology that reduces microplastic pollution generated from clothes by up to 54%.
At the beginning of 2022, Samsung launched the SmartThings Home technology, laying the groundwork for the development of a genuinely sustainable home. By combining appliances that are connected to services like SmartThings Energy and the AI Energy module, users can optimise their energy consumption while maximising their savings. Currently, SmartThings Energy works on about 40 Samsung home appliances that can be activated using the SmartThings app, including washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, air conditioners, vacuum cleaners, air purifiers, ovens, cooker hoods, cooking stoves, microwaves, TV sets, and energy counters. SmartThings is thus a big step forward towards a sustainable future, which Samsung intends to contribute to through its home appliances. The company also aims for 100 % of its imported goods—like fridges, washing machines, residential air conditioners, and eco heating systems—to be connected to the SmartThings app in the near future.
The company has also come up with another sustainable innovation: in partnership with Qcells, it developed Net Zero Home, a self-sustainable home that can generate and store energy from solar panels in order to power all Samsung equipment controlled through the SmartThings app.
“Through its most recent innovative products and services, Samsung offers its customers greater openess, connectivity, and efficiency when it comes to their day-to-day user experience. We therefore continue in our mission to search for revolutionary solutions that can support people’s lifestyles, bring new forms of entertainment, and encourage sustainability through the different ways in which we care for our planet,” says Benjamin Braun, Chief Marketing Officer at Samsung Europe.
Helping people adopt a sustainable lifestyle
The design for Samsung’s smart home appliances is based on two fundamental concepts: being sustainable and helping people save money and reduce their carbon footprint. The company’s Bespoke product range and its Digital Inverter technology are great examples. The modular structure and replaceable panels of the Bespoke refrigerators extend their lifecycles and hence reduce waste from electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). After 25 years of intensive research, the Digital Inverter technology contributes to the increase of home appliances’ energy efficiency, performance, and durability.
The sustainability of a brand is closely linked to the experience it provides to its customers. With that in mind, Samsung Electronics decided to offer a 20-year warranty—the longest warranty period ever offered by the company—for its Digital Inverter engines and compressors. This way, Samsung increases the reliability of its products and confirms its commitments to reducing electronic waste and promoting sustainability.
Users are also encouraged to make greener decissions by using the SmartThings Energy app, which monitors diferent usage patterns and provides real-time data that helps them reduce energy consumption. According to company representatives, all Samsung products with a Wi-Fi connection will have access to the SmartThings Energy app by 2023. Plus, Samsung will bring an additional 10 % energy saving capability to all its appliances, to reach the highest energy saving standard, A+++.