[Editorial] Putting the PlanetFirst

on December 3, 2015 by David Scuderi
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This week Paris is hosting the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21); one of the most anticipated cross-sector climate summits of the decade. The main objective is to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate change.


As these discussions begin, I would like to express our support for this ambition in line with Samsung’s long-standing commitment to mitigating climate change and improving resource efficiency to protect the environment. I will also be sharing some thoughts on the history of Samsung Electronics’ environmental action.


Our Environmental Origins

The Conference of Parties was established to review the implementation of the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) intergovernmental body responsible for stimulating action against climate change. It was formed at the United Nations Rio Earth Summit of 1992; a major environmental gathering of 172 governments from around the globe, at the same time as the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development.


Environmental professionals around the world were excited about this ambitious action and at Samsung Electronics we asked ourselves what we could do to recognise and react to this pivotal moment.


In response we signed our first Environment Declaration in 1992 and committed to reduce our impact on the environment and tackle urgent problems such as climate change and resource depletion.


Eco Management


So how have we turned this commitment into action?


In 2009 we launched our first Eco-Management plan; setting medium and long-term targets. Simultaneously, we established the PlanetFirst slogan as a symbol of our commitment to providing a better green experience through eco-friendly products, solutions and technologies that benefit our customers’ lives; affirm our shared values; and respect our planet.


Since the launch of Eco-Management, Samsung Electronics has had many achievements.


Below I have listed some of the accomplishments we are most proud of:

  • We achieved greenhouse gas emissions reductions of 47% from a 2008 baseline (as a ratio of emissions over revenue) from our investments in F-gas treatment and the increased energy efficiencies of our semiconductor manufacturing processes,
  • The energy consumption of our entire product portfolio is now less than 60% of what it was six years ago,
  • The Samsung Galaxy S Series recently won the prestigious Best in Product Carbon Footprint Prize from the Carbon Trust for the highest cumulative carbon footprint reduction of 37% since 2012,
  • We have been recognised for our leadership in carbon reporting and combating climate change; featuring on the 2015 Climate ‘A’ list.


Looking to the Future


Finally, how do we plan to improve our environmental performance?


In order to further our ambitions we recently established Eco-Management 2020 plan; setting long-term goals to reduce GHG (Greenhouse gas) emissions during product use phase and reduce emissions intensity at manufacturing sites. In addition we continue to implement a large range of eco management initiatives throughout the product life cycle such as; eco-partner certification, eco-design, water re-use, management of hazardous chemicals, green logistics, packaging material reduction and e-waste recycling.


Our business has an important responsibility in the countries where we operate to contribute to emissions reduction, and we have an important innovation opportunity to provide our customers with outstanding premium technology and reduced environmental impacts. We will continue striving towards our Environmental Management vision: “Providing Green Experience, Creating Sustainable Future” and will aim to harness the $11.4 trillion sustainability business opportunity of the ICT sector to build a sustainable future which makes business sense.


In conclusion, I would like to express our support to all Paris delegates throughout the summit.


We are looking forward to seeing what positive business challenges will arise from the intergovernmental climate discussions in Paris that will drive further environmental leadership from the ICT sector.

by David Scuderi

Head of Environmental Affairs, Europe Regional Headquaters, Samsung Electronics

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