According to environmental experts, Samsung Electronics’ increasing carbon emissions and slow reduction in fossil fuel use are undermining the group’s claims to sustainability.
The criticisms come as companies come under increased scrutiny over climate change and concerns about environmental laundering, as organizations exaggerate their environmental commitments and achievements.
“Everyone has ESG initiatives, everyone is talking . . . but we are not seeing real tangible changes,” said Yoon Sejong, director of Our Climate Solutions, a Seoul-based NGO.
Samsung is one of the largest producers of computer chips, smartphones, electronic displays and devices in the world. The South Korean group reported that greenhouse gas emissions rose 5 percent year-on-year in 2020.
The company also relies on fossil fuels for more than 80 percent of its electricity, according to Greenpeace, the environmental campaign group.
The data has raised questions about Samsung’s efforts on climate change even though the group has promoted claims that its sites in the United States, Europe and China now use only renewable energy.
Samsung declined to comment.
South Korea and Vietnam, two of the company’s largest manufacturing bases, have highlighted the company’s challenge to transform, as its power systems still rely on coal.
Samsung is pushing Seoul and Hanoi to accelerate energy market liberalization with the aim of inviting renewable energy investments.
Samsung wants to be able to buy power from independent renewable generators, bypassing state-owned power groups that have been slow to switch away from coal.
The company sets specific targets for the use of renewable energy in both countries but no timeframe has been set, highlighting the lack of confidence in achieving significant progress in the near term.
Samsung is also looking at opportunities around the world to buy credits to offset carbon emissions and join other pricing schemes to promote renewable energy. In Brazil and Mexico, for example, the company plans to reach 100 percent renewable energy by 2025.
But activists said Samsung should put more pressure on governments, given its enormous political influence. In South Korea and Vietnam, the group is the largest single employer and contributor to GDP.
“Given its scale of business, its impact on the overall economies of Korea and Vietnam, and its pledge to pursue renewable energy targets in other markets, it has the potential to make great strides in Korea and Vietnam by seeking easy access to renewable energy in the two countries,” Greenpeace said.
Yoon said the “real culprits” in South Korea are the state-owned energy group Korea Electric Power Corporation للطاقة And government ministries to resist changes in the energy market for years.
The country’s renewable supply is only about 5 percent, although new rules have been implemented to allow direct power purchase agreements.
“It’s ridiculously low, and that makes it really difficult to do any meaningful renewable energy initiatives,” Yoon said.
Further undermining the company’s claims, Samsung subsidiaries – along with automakers Hyundai, Kepco and other South Korean companies and financial institutions – have had for years She was at the fore To develop coal power in Vietnam.
“On the one hand, they say they want more renewables for their electronics plant, and on the other, they are building this unnecessary coal plant . . . We all know that Samsung HQ is already coordinating those decisions.”
Several groups, including Samsung’s financial units, last year promised to finish Coal financing.