Samsung Electronics is ditching fossil fuels and aims to fully power its global operations with clean electricity by 2050, a tough goal that experts say could be hampered by South Korea’s modest commitments on climate change.
The South Korean tech giant is one of the top producers of memory computer chips and smartphones and, by some estimates, is the biggest energy consumer among the hundreds of global companies that have joined the “RE100” campaign to get 100% of its electricity from renewable sources such as wind or solar power.
In announcing its goal Thursday, the company said it aims to achieve emissions neutrality in its mobile, television and consumer electronics divisions by 2030, and in all of its global operations, including semiconductors, by 2050.
The group plans to invest 7 trillion won ($5 trillion) through 2030 in projects aimed at reducing process gas emissions, controlling and recycling electronic waste, conserving water and reducing pollutants. In addition, it plans to develop new technologies to reduce energy consumption in its consumer electronics devices and data centers, which would require more efficient memory chips, and has set long-term goals to reduce emissions in its supply chains. supply and logistics.
“Samsung is responding to the threats of climate change with a comprehensive plan that includes reducing emissions, new sustainability practices, and developing innovative technologies and products that are better for our planet,” said Jong-Hee Han, CEO of Samsung. company, in a statement sent by email.
Samsung’s plan drew praise from some of its investors, including Dutch pension management fund APG, which said the company could make a “significant contribution” to cleaning up South Korea’s electricity market due to its impact and influence on electricity generation. nation’s economy.
But APG was also concerned that the announcement comes at a time when Seoul is lowering its climate goals.
President Yoon Suk Yeol’s conservative government, which took office in May, has focused much of its energy policy on promoting nuclear-sourced electricity. Desperate to boost a weak economy, the executive has been reluctant to drastically reduce the country’s dependence on coal and gas, which generate about 65% of its electricity.