Samsung Electronics unveiled its vision for the future, ‘Together for tomorrow’, during a pre-show keynote event at CES 2022. CES is the world’s largest consumer electronics and IT exhibition. This year, it is being held in Las Vegas, Nevada from January 5-7. Keynote speaker Jong-Hee Han, Vice Chairman, CEO and Head of DX (Device eXperience) Division at Samsung, illustrated how the company plans to make its vision a reality by introducing a range of sustainability initiatives, and customizable and connected technologies.
Samsung’s keynote underlined a deep commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) that continues to characterize its approach to innovation. That commitment is not only realized in the company’s technologies, but also in its dedication towards programmes that empower the next generation to bring about the changes they want to see in the world. By nurturing young people’s development and building skills for the workplaces of tomorrow, CSR programmes like Solve for Tomorrow and Samsung Innovation Campus are turning dreams into action.
Building a Sustainable Future
At its core, Samsung’s vision for the future is built on what the company calls ‘everyday sustainability’. The company has been realizing its vision by adopting new, low-impact product manufacturing practices, footprint-reducing packaging and a more sustainable customer experience, and by responsibly disposing of products at the end of their lifecycles. The electronics giant’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions throughout the production cycle have also earned recognition from the Carbon Trust, the world’s leading authority on carbon footprint. Last year, the company’s Carbon Trust-certified memory chips helped reduce carbon emissions by nearly 700,000 tons.
More recyled raw materials
Efforts in this area extend well beyond semiconductors and include expanding the use of recycled materials. To introduce everyday sustainability to more products, Samsung’s Visual Display Business plans to use 30 times more recycled plastics than it did in 2021. The company also revealed plans to expand its use of recycled materials to include all mobile products and home appliances over the next three years.
In 2021, all of Samsung’s TV boxes included recycled materials. For this year, the company revealed that it will be expanding the use of recycled materials to include the boxes’ interior packaging as well. Now, recycled materials will be incorporated into Styrofoam, box holders and plastic bags. The company also announced the global expansion of its Eco-Packaging programme. The expansion of the programme, which transforms cardboard boxes into cat houses, side tables and other useful furniture items, will include packaging for home appliances such as vacuum cleaners, microwave ovens, air purifiers and more.
Samsung is also building sustainability into the ways that customers experience its products. Such experiences will be integral to empowering people to reduce their carbon footprint and make positive changes together for a better tomorrow. As an example, the company introduced notable enhancements to its first-of-its-kind SolarCell Remote, which eliminates battery waste with a built-in solar panel that can be charged during both day and night.
The enhanced SolarCell Remote gets electricity from radio frequencies in devices like Wi-Fi routers. “What’s more, it will be included in more Samsung products – like new Samsung TVs and home appliances – with the goal of eliminating more than 200 million batteries from landfills. When you line them up, it is the distance from right here, Las Vegas, to Korea,” said Han.
In addition, by 2025, Samsung plans to make all of its TVs and phone chargers operate on near-zero standby power, so that the products will consume almost no energy when not being used.
Collaborations and open source tech
E-waste is another big challenge for the electronics industry, which is why Samsung has collected more than five million tons of e-waste since 2009. For mobile products, last year, the brand launched Galaxy for the Planet, a sustainability platform that was created to bring about tangible climate action and minimize devices’ environmental footprints throughout their lifecycles.
With this in mind, the brand announced that its eco-conscious technologies like the SolarCell Remote will be made open source, so that others can utilize them for their new devices too. The company’s decision to make such technologies openly available reflects a commitment to innovation – and to everyday sustainability – that transcends industries.
The collaboration with Patagonia that Samsung announced at the keynote demonstrates the type of innovation that can result when companies – even those from entirely different industries – come together to address environmental issues. The innovative solution that the companies are designing will help fight plastic pollution by enabling Samsung washing machines to minimize microplastics from entering waterways through laundry cycles.
“This is a serious problem, and not one we can solve on our own,” said Vincent Stanley, Director of Philosophy at Patagonia. Commending the work of Samsung engineers, Stanley described the working relationship as “a perfect example of the kind of collaboration we all need to help turn the tide of climate change and restore nature to health,” Said Han, “We are thrilled about this collaboration, but our work won’t stop there. We will continue to explore new partnerships and collaborations, aiming to address the challenges facing our planet.”