Samsung said today that it’s going to make its factories and offices in the US, Europe, and China run on 100 percent renewable energy. The announcement comes after a more than year-long Greenpeace campaign advocating for greener practices and protesting the company’s role in worsening climate change.
Activists have pointed out that Samsung lags behind rivals when it comes to going green. Apple and Google have both purchased enough renewable energy, such as wind or solar energy, to offset their global energy consumption since April. (It’s likely that Samsung will also purchase renewable energy to offset its consumption, rather than be directly powered by renewables.)
Samsung is only explicitly promising 100 percent renewable energy for 17 of its 38 buildings around the world. It makes no mention of the regional offices in Israel, India, Singapore, and Japan. Samsung says that the buildings in the US, Europe, and China in particular are “well-equipped with infrastructure for the development and transmission of renewable energy.”
The American, European, and Chinese factories and offices will be upgraded by 2020. In the interim two years, Samsung says it will try to increase renewable energy use internationally, although it doesn’t say what regions it will focus on specifically. A sustainability report being released tomorrow should have more details.
Samsung has also joined the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) program for next year, which will identify climate change risks within its supply chain. It said that it’s also going to try to get its partners across the supply chain to set their own renewable energy targets.
In South Korea, Samsung is working alongside the government’s 2030 plan to raise the national renewable energy use by 20 percent. The company says it will install more solar panels at its headquarters and add solar arrays and geothermal power generators at its other locations.
Greenpeace responded to the news today with a blog post, “This is a really important first step for Samsung to reduce its massive global manufacturing footprint ... This could help drive a faster transition away from fossil fuels [in] coal countries like China and South Korea.”