The world’s largest manufacturer of information technology devices, Samsung Electronics, announced on Thursday that it has joined the RE100 initiative to set net-zero targets by 2050 and ensure the full use of renewable energy. This marks a significant shift for the company, which was previously the largest consumer of electricity in the world.
The chips-to-consumer electronics giant aims to transition to 100 percent renewable energy for its operation while simultaneously becoming carbon neutral by reducing both direct and indirect emissions and increasing the amount of money it spends on its missions to combat climate change. To achieve these goals, the company has made a commitment to use less electricity and to reuse and recycle resources such as plastic and water.
These environmentally friendly aims will be ensured by Samsung’s involvement in the RE100 programme, which has approximately 380 member businesses and is backed by competitors in the technology industry like Apple as well as crosstown competitors like SK hynix.
Indirect gas emissions at Samsung are created by the company’s consumption of acquired utilities like electricity and steam; hence, a reduction in the global adoption of targets for renewable energy sources would lead to a reduction in Samsung’s overall indirect gas emissions.
In addition to taking other steps, Samsung is considering buying certificates for renewable energy sources and using green pricing systems in order to pay premiums that cover the additional expenses of procuring renewable energy sources. By the year 2027, every vehicle owned by Samsung will be powered by either electricity or hydrogen.
South Korea and Vietnam, which account for approximately 80 percent of the company’s total electricity consumption, have not yet been included in Samsung’s earlier commitment to source 100 percent of its energy from renewable sources. Until now, Samsung’s earlier commitment has been limited to the United States, China, and Europe.
The remainder of Samsung’s businesses in other countries, in addition to its mobile and home appliance divisions both in South Korea and elsewhere in the world, will make a gradual shift to renewable energy sources by no later than 2027. By the end of this year, all of Samsung’s facilities in Vietnam, which is home to the company’s biggest smartphone manufacturing base, will transition to the exclusive usage of renewable energy.
In addition, Samsung promised to strive toward the development of ultralow-power memory chips by the year 2025 for usage in data centres and mobile devices. In addition, by the year 2030, the company’s consumer electronics, including televisions and cellphones, will use 30 percent less energy than the models that were manufactured in 2019.
In the meanwhile, Samsung is working to reduce the direct emissions that are produced as a consequence of the industrial processes and other activities. The majority of these emissions are caused by the use of specialized gas and liquefied natural gas in the production of semiconductor chips. In addition, Samsung intends to implement innovative methods for the treatment of waste gas, as well as boost their use of waste heat and initiate the usage of electric heat sources.
In a separate development, Samsung Electronics has committed to allocating 7 trillion won, or $5 billion, toward the reduction of emissions produced during the manufacturing of chips, the collection and recycling of waste electronic goods, the protection of water sources, and the reduction of the amount of pollutants that Samsung Electronics releases into the environment.
The carbon road-map calls for Samsung’s mobile and home appliances company, which falls under the device experience division, to become carbon neutral by the year 2030. Meanwhile, the semiconductors business will work toward achieving the net-zero objective by no later than the year 2050.
In addition, Samsung’s chip facilities will investigate the use of technologies that collect and store carbon, with the intention of putting these measures into place by the year 2030.
The enormous amount of energy that the IT giant uses all around the globe has led to increased amounts of pressure being put on it to get involved in the global movement to battle climate change.
In only the year 2021, Samsung Electronics was responsible for producing 17 million metric tonnes of carbon emissions and using 25.8 terawatt-hours worth of electric power.
The amount of electricity used by Samsung Electronics was more than that used by Google’s parent company, Alphabet, which was 18.2 terawatt-hours, TSMC, which used 18.1 terawatt-hours of energy, and Intel, which used 9.6 terawatt-hours of electricity.
It was believed that Samsung Electronics was one of the few remaining major technology firms that had not yet joined the group of businesses that had publicly committed to using only renewable energy in their operations.
Additionally, for a long time, Samsung Electronics was scrutinized for the extent to which it relied on fossil fuels. In April, forty environmental groups from across the world, both domestic and international, including Solutions for Our Climate, located in Seoul, issued a letter to Samsung requesting that the company stop using coal and establish more aggressive climate targets.
In the year 2020, SK hynix became the first chip maker to sign up with the RE100 programme, which aims to achieve an adoption rate of 100 percent for renewable energy by the year 2050.
When exactly Samsung Electronics decided to join the RE100 renewables programmes is unclear from the company’s statement.