Samsung Electronics has announced a plan to commit to 100 percent renewable energy in the US, Europe and China by 2020.
Courtesy of Samsung
The announcement represents the first such commitment by an electronics manufacturing company in Asia and follows months of campaigning and global protests calling on the company to urgently set a clear renewable energy goal for its own operations as well as its supply chain. Samsung announced its decision in the form of a public statement on its website, committing the company to 100 percent renewable energy in the USA, Europe and China, where the company has 17 of its 38 global manufacturing factories, offices and buildings.
The company will also join the CDP supply chain programme, which helps to identify and manage climate change risks, to lead change in its supply chain. Samsung also intends to install onsite solar and geothermal energy in Gyeonggi province, South Korea where Samsung’s key semiconductor factories are located.
“Samsung's announcement is a major step forward for the movement to build a renewably-powered future” said Jennifer Morgan, Executive Director of Greenpeace International. “If the company follows through with meaningful actions, it will join the ranks of innovative business leaders recognising the sense of urgency around climate change and showing a different future is still possible”.
Insung Lee, IT Campaigner at Greenpeace East Asia, added that the company is the first electronics manufacturing company in Asia to set a renewable energy target and that this commitment could have an enormous impact in reducing its massive global manufacturing footprint.
The company’s forthcoming sustainability report will disclose further details on the plan and the steps the company intends to take to implement it.
Samsung has the largest smartphone market share globally and is one of the main suppliers of key components to other major tech brands, with 38 production sites and more than 2,000 suppliers across the world. Renewable energy currently accounts for only 1 percent of Samsung Electronics’ total energy consumption, which amounted to 16,000GWh in 2016.
Greenpeace has been campaigning on Samsung Electronics to show its leadership and commit to 100 percent renewable energy, following other major IT brands like Apple which committed to renewables in 2012.
Since December 2017, activists called out Samsung to ‘Stop Fuelling Climate Change’ through a series of actions in Seoul, London, Berlin, New York and Taipei, aimed at challenging the tech giant to take immediate action and publicly commit to 100 percent renewables.