Joining the recent push by tech companies to work towards a more sustainable future, Samsung has pledged to make an effort to increase its involvement in the development of renewable technology, according to The Seattle Times. As the world’s biggest smartphone maker and a major part of South Korea’s biggest corporate tech group, Samsung is the first Asian electronics manufacturer to make such a pledge.
The company plans to still rely on grids powered by fossil fuels, but wants to buy credits from renewable energy suppliers to create some sort of balance. They have not released which renewable energy providers they are going to use, but plan to incorporate clean energy into their American, European, and Chinese operations.
The move towards removal comes after both activists and clients had started pressing the company to transition to cleaner energy about a year ago. “Samsung’s commitment represents a big step forward in reducing the impact that our technology is having on the planet,” stated the environmental group Greenpeace.
Apple, who has led the charge towards a more sustainable tech world in Silicon Valley, is a major customer for Samsung’s chips and display panels and is pushing their supply chain to rely more on renewable energy sources.
About three quarters of energy in South Korea comes from either coal or nuclear power. Samsung has not given any objective renewable energy target for facilities in its home country or Vietnam, which is their largest smartphone manufacturing base.
The most concrete goal Samsung has released is its plan to install 42,000 square meters (450,000 square feet) of solar panels at its headquarters in Suwon, South Korea, and two other cities where it operates major semiconductor plants.
Many other major corporations have made this renewable energy pledge, including General Motors and BMW AG, but most do not use as energy-intensive technology as Samsung.