Samsung Electronics

RATING

SECTOR

Technology Hardware and Equipment

WEBSITE

CONTACT

129, Samseong-ro Yeongtong-gu Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do 16677

South Korea

Tel: +82 31 200-7538

STOCK EXCHANGE

LISTING

N/A

EMPLOYEES

309,630

CHIEF SUSTAINABILITY OFFICER

Kevin Considine

AWARDS

  • All-Russian eco-day “Green Spring” (Russia)
  • SMM Electronics Challenge Champion Award (US)
  • Energy Winner Awards of the year (Korea)
  • Green Product Awards of the Year (Korea)
  • Energy star partner of the year award (US)
  • Environmental Leader Award (US)

CONTENT SOURCE

FURTHER READING

Report created by Kavita Kripalani

Samsung Electronics

SECTIONS :  Sustainability    Evaluation  •  Progress  •  Watch  •  Overview

Company Activity

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. engages in the manufacturing and selling of electronics and computer peripherals. Samsung enables businesses large and small across various industries to seamlessly integrate technology and solutions for workplace productivity, so you can do what you can’t and drive business transformation through new, differentiated business models. 

Samsung Electronics is a technology company engaging in the manufacturing and selling of electronics and computer peripherals. The company operates through the following business divisions: Consumer Electronics, Information Technology & Mobile Communications and Device Solutions. 

  • Consumer Electronics business division: provides cable television, monitor, printer, air-conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines and medical devices. 
  • Information Technology & Mobile Communications business division: offers handheld products, communication systems, computers and digital cameras. 
  • Device Solutions business division: comprises memory, system large scale integrated circuit and light emitting diode. 

Samsung Electronics, devotes their resources and technology to create superior products and services, thereby contributing to a better global society. They are relentless in their efforts to deliver innovative products and experiences that maximize user convenience and make the lives of consumers better. The company was founded on January 13, 1969 and is headquartered in Suwon, South Korea.

Company Sustainability Activity

Samsung’s environmental activities have included countermeasures against climate change—including reducing greenhouse gas emissions and expanding the use of renewable energy— and active participation in the recycling of resources to minimize the environmental footprint of their operation.

The impetus for the company’s environmental activities is shifting from selective spending to essential investments that create value, and they will continue to engage in environmental activities, believing economic development and environmental sustainability can coexist. 

Samsung is committed to complying with local laws and regulations as well as applying a strict global code of conduct to all employees. Samsung believes that ethical management is not only a tool for responding to the rapid changes in the global business environment but also a vehicle for building trust with its various stakeholders including customers, shareholders, employees, business partners and local communities.

With an aim to become one of the most ethical companies in the world, Samsung continues to train its employees and operate monitoring systems, while practicing fair and transparent corporate management.

Highlights

  • 94% Environmentally conscious Products
  • 220,000 tons of Cumulative Use of Recycled Plastics

Targets

Renewable Energy

  • Aim to source 100% renewable energy for energy used in Samsung’s factories, office buildings, and operational facilities in the US, Europe and China by 2020 
  • Install solar panels and geothermal units at parking areas and on the rooftops of domestic worksites in Suwon, Hwaseong, and Pyeongtaek by 2020 
  • Encourage their 100 major suppliers to establish their renewable energy targets, in line with their participation in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) supply chain in 2019

Packaging

  • Shift to paper or environmentally conscious packaging for mobile phone, tablet and wearables
  • Use 100% paper packaging materials sustainably sourced paper
  • Shift to paper or environmentally conscious packaging for products and accessories globally

Product Stewardship

  • Accumulated GHG emissions reduction in the product use phase between 2009 and 2020 → Reach 250 million tons 
  • Use renewable materials including recycled plastic between 2009 and 2030 → Reach 500 thousand tons
  • Reach 90% Eco-conscious Products out of all developed products by 2020 
  • Accumulate collected e-waste between 2009 and 2030 → Reach 7.5 million tons 
  • Reach 100% sustainably sourced paper packaging by 2020

Mid to Long term goals for SDGs

  • By 2020, 100% of paper packaging will only use sustainably sourced papers
  • By 2030, the Cumulative Use of Recycled Plastic will be of 0.5 tons
  • By 2030, the Cumulative take-back of global e-waste will be of 7.5 mil tons

2018 KPIs

  • Recycling of Waste: 96%
  • Water Use: 64 ton/KRW100 million
  • Energy Saving: 5,011 GWh
  • Renewable Energy: 1,356GWh
  • GHG emissions: 3.6 tCO2e/KRW100 million
  • Total Time of Employee Volunteering: 1,131,915 hours

Progress

Product Stewardship

  • Established e-waste take-back and recycling centers in Korea in 1998
  • Established an environmental analysis lab in 2005
  • Introduced an Eco-Design process in 2004
  • Initiated the Green Memory project in 2009
  • Won US EPA ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year- Sustained Excellence Award six times

Commitment to the Environment in their Operation

  • Expansion of green management activities since 1992
  • Annual participation in the UN World Water Day and water resources protection activities, since 1997
  • Reduced GHG emissions by 59% from 2008 to 2013 and participated in a GHG emission trading scheme in Korea
  • Established policies for biodiversity conservation in 2010
  • Energy Management System(ISO 50001) certified at Korean worksites in 2011
  • Announced a plan in 2018 to transition to renewable energy at its operation

Sustainable Supply Chain

  • Announced KRW 1 trillion to support suppliers in Korea in 2004
  • Established a management system to ban the use of conflict minerals in the supply chain in 2012
  • Created Win-Win funds for first- and second-tier suppliers in Korea in 2010 In 2018, as part of the financial assistance they provide to suppliers, Samsung expanded the Win-Win funds to KRW 1.4 trillion by including third-tier suppliers.
  • Samsung further created a KRW 500 billion fund to improve payment conditions between first- and second-tier suppliers in 2017, and an additional KRW 300 billion fund helping to improve payments between second- and third-tier suppliers in 2018 
  • Participated in a responsible mineral mining project in DR Congo in 2019

Sustainability Foundation

  • Released “Declaration of Customer Rights” in 1994
  • Set up the CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) Committee under the Board of Directors (BOD) in 2013

Packaging 

  • Samsung started to use pulp molds packing materials for laptops in 2018 and has been gradually replacing vinyl packaging with recycled and bio-based materials for all household appliances since 2019

Certificates

  • ISO 50001 certified at Korean worksites in 2011
  • ISO 9001 for semiconductor plants in Korea
  • US EPA ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year
  •  business monitors – the SE200, SE450, SE650, UE850 and UD970 models – have earned New Generation TCO Certified status 
  • Nordic ecolabel on TVs
  • The Galaxy Note 4 received Vitality Leaf certification from the Ecological Union, Russia’s leading environmental certification organization.
  • Memory Products Receive Environmental Impact Reduction Recognition from the Carbon Trust

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDGs Compliance

SDG 3 

  • Samsung Electronics is committed to minimizing health and environmental impacts related to the use of chemicals of concern. In addition, they strive to create an environment where their employees can work without concerns over their health and safety in the manufacturing processes.
  • EHS Innovation Day, Consultancy on improving suppliers’ environmental safety 

SDG 4 

  • The company runs customized education programs to promote the development of local communities while providing a variety of support (via their employees and technology) to enable local residents and communities to build capabilities necessary to plan for a better future. 
  • Samsung Dream Class, Samsung Software Academy For Youth, Samsung Solve for Tomorrow

SDG 5 

  • Samsung has a firm belief that ensuring equal opportunities is key to economic growth, political stability, and social change. They endeavor to find new ways to help women globe and prepare youth for the future.
  • Samsung STEM Girls Program, Female leadership programs

SDG 6

  • Samsung makes efficient use of water through the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle). In wastewater treatment, they apply an in-house standard which is stricter than legal requirements, minimizing the impact on water resources. 
  • World Water Day, Participation in CDP Water 

SDG 7

  • The company is fully aware of its responsibility to expand its renewable energy use to tackle global climate change. As such, Samsung strives to expand the use of renewable energy at its worksites via the installation of solar panels and geothermal units, they have signed Power Purchasing Agreements, and have pursued Green Pricing
  • Renewable energy use in 2018: 1,356 GWh

SDG 8

  • Samsung is committed to pursuing innovation and new growth drivers to share related technology with society. As such, they run programs and systems to build an innovative culture and expand investments in R&Ds and productivity growth. 
  • Vietnamese consultant training program, C-Lab (Creative Lab)

SDG 9

  • Samsung strives to improve the accessibility of their IT devices and technology to allow all consumers to benefit equally from cutting-edge technology. 
  • Accessibility design principles (4Cs), Home appliance accessibility advisory group

SDG 10 

  • The company offers equal opportunities to all employees and applicants. In addition, they do not tolerate any kinds of discrimination in their HR management on the grounds of nationality, race, gender, age, religion, marital status, sexual orientation, social status, pregnancy, physical disabilities, military service, genetic information, or political propensity. 
  • Global diversity initiatives

SDG 12 

  • Samsung Electronics has five circular economy principles—the expansion of the use of recycled materials, product durability improvement, compact product packaging, reduction in the use of virgin natural resources, and the extension of product life span/use. They will continue to strive to minimize environmental footprint through the recycling and reuse of resources. 
  • Galaxy Up-cycling, Re+ program

SDG 13 

  • Samsung has prioritized climate change issues according to the degree of their importance and impact, devising a strategy to respond to them. Furthermore, they have invested in facilities to reduce GHG emissions “optimize its operation”. 
  • Development of energy-efficient products, Participation in CDP Climate Change

SDG 15

  • The company is committed to minimizing the impact of its operation on biodiversity. In particular, Samsung has consistently undertaken ecosystem protection activities, including the identification of endangered species near their worksites and protection of their habitats.
  • Stream ecosystem protection activities

SDG 17 

  • Samsung runs local programs to address a variety of social issues (related to education, healthcare, employment, and environment) by sharing their advanced technology and cooperating with stakeholders.
  • Partnership on AI, “Cobalt for Development” Project in DRC

Evaluation

Samsung Electronics engages in sustainable activity. The company holds a large number of sustainability certificates and awards. Samsung is transparent in declaring their sustainability targets, initiatives, strategy and progress. The information published is supported by KPIs. In addition, Samsung is compliant with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Several reports were published emphasizing Samsung’s underperformance in workforce management. There are some concerns regarding worker rights, occupational health and safety, and compensation. Even though Samsung addresses a few of these issues, the concerns still exist in many of its manufacturing facilities. For these reasons, Samsung is rated B.

Analyst Outlook: Neutral 

Samsung has made exceptional progress in terms of incorporating sustainability within their business model. For the scale of their company, they are quite transparent.

Key Points

  • Samsung complies with 12 out of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals
  • Worker health and safety, worker compensation are in compromised state at Samsung’s manufacturing facilities (China Labor Watch)
  • Samsung’s progress via certificates, SDG targets and agenda
  • Samsung established four Environmental Health Safety (EHS) key performance indicators that they expect to achieve by 2020 in four key areas: EHS management systems, GHG emissions, water resource, and waste management. In addition to these goals, they have added a 2020 renewable energy pledge and thoroughly monitored them. 
  • Green Management: Samsung Electronics officially announced the Environmental Declaration in 1992. In addition, the company set the Green Management Value System in 2008 and additional goals in the form of their global Eco-Management 2020 plan in 2014 and are endeavoring to create environmental value through numerous initiatives.
  • Management System: Samsung Electronics’ investment in environmental impact reduction has been a long-standing commitment. Their Global Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) Center and Global Customer Service Center, under the direct leadership of the CEO, actively manage EHS issues and the environmental impacts of products, respectively. 
  • Samsung Electronics’ global manufacturing sites are certified by management systems based on global EHS standards. In order to retain these management systems certifications, they conduct an after-the-fact self-evaluation and a third-party renewal evaluation every three years. As a result of conducting internal EHS audits, they identified 862 improvement tasks and achieved 97% of them in 2018.
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