Resource Circularity

Resource Circularity

use longer,
and reuse

Conserve, use longer, and reuse

Since the Industrial Revolution, economic growth has been accompanied by the extraction and exploitation of natural resources. Experts have warned of the environmental problems from such resource depletion and environmental degradation.
Samsung Electronics is aware of these warnings and is has been implementing a wide range of response measures. We efficiently use resources and create technology innovations to minimize inevitable waste, to extend the life of our products and to seek ways to use again materials from end-of-life products. We will continue our effort to making better products with fewer resources and to convert e-waste into usable resources.

We pursue a circular economy

To protect an environment in crisis and use resources more efficiently, Samsung Electronics is engaged in efforts to focus on a circular economy. Going beyond the conventional practice of using resources once and discarding them, Samsung is working to ensure that products can remain in use longer, and that resources can be optimized at end of life by recovering, recycling and reusing them after the product’s lifespan.

By minimizing the type of materials used and optimizing the assembly method to facilitate recovery and avoid waste, we have developed production methods that minimize the use of resources. By collecting products that have reached the end of their life span we recover valuable materials. Through this circular economy, Samsung is reducing the amount of natural resources required for production, reducing greenhouse gas and pollutants from the incineration of waste and from primary extraction, and preventing soil and underground water contamination caused by landfills. By strengthening the durability of our products before release through a series of strict reliability tests and by providing convenient repair services through our global service locations, including continuous software updates, Samsung is expanding the lifespan of our products to further contribute to the circular economy while conserving resources.

Circular Economy Principles and Operation Systems

Circular Economy Principles

  • 01

    We incorporate materials
    considering resource
    circularity from the
    product design phase
    and increase durability
    to allow longer use
    of products.

  • 02

    We minimize use of
    water during production
    and minimize waste by
    reusing scrap materials.

  • 03

    We use less resources
    during distribution
    by raising the logistics
    efficiency through
    minimizing the
    size of packaging.

  • 04

    We support consumers
    to use products longer
    by providing a network of professional repair services.

  • 05

    We establish a systematic
    recycling framework
    that allows collecting
    and reusing products
    at end-of-life.

Resource Circulation Operating System

  • ‧ Use energy-efficient products to reduce indirect GHG emissions
  • ‧ Enhance product performance, upgrade firmware, and extend product warranty
Repair and Reuse
  • ‧ Continuously expand service centers worldwide
  • ‧ Extend product lifespan by providing remote and expert diagnosis services
  • ‧ Plan products that consume less energy and resources
  • ‧ Design products that are easy to disassemble and recycle
  • ‧ Life extension design of product
  • ‧ Purchase materials and parts that do not contain any hazardous substances
  • ‧ Expand the use of sustainable resources, such as recycled materials
  • ‧ Do business with certified “Eco Partners”
  • ‧ Expand renewable energy use at worksites
  • ‧ Minimize water consumption and increase reuse
  • ‧ Recycle worksite waste into resources
  • ‧ Use chemical alternatives at worksites
  • ‧ Use Packaging materials considering resource circularity
  • ‧ Compact and lightweight packaging
  • ‧ Reduce GHG emissions and use of fuel by optimizing logistics
Take-back and recycling
  • ‧ Operate take-back programs in each country
  • ‧ Extract and reuse materials from waste products
  • ‧ Run a closed-loop recycling system for waste resources

Develop Closed-loop Products

Products with Recycled and Renewable Materials

Samsung Electronics fully recognizes the importance of product development that takes into consideration efficient use of resources and long-term usage. Bearing this in mind, we strive to recover and recycle resources that have been used, expanding the use of environmentally conscious materials.

Packaging materials considering resource circularity

Samsung Electronics has completely replaced packaging paper on finished goods with sustainable forest-certified paper and 100% recycled paper in 2020. We plan to convert all plastic packaging materials to recycled or bio-materials.

We Endeavor to Extend the Product Lifespan

During product development, Samsung Electronics conducts durability tests under various conditions to allow consumers to use the products as long as possible and tries to further extend the product lifespan by developing products to be easily taken apart during repairs and recyclable.

Higher Durability

Devoted to enhancing the durability, Samsung Electronics conducts tests under various conditions to validate the solidity, drop resistance, and lifespan. Not only are our products designed to meet international standards from the development phase but also go through various limit tests unique to Samsung Electronics including drop tests from different angles and onto different surfaces along with various water-proofing tests.

Better Repairability

Repairability is a vital element we consider when manufacturing a product. Samsung Electronics continues to conduct research to develop products that are easy to disassemble, affordable to repair and parts that are easy to be reused. France has enforced domestically sold electronics to indicate the ‘repairability index (Indice de réparabilité)’ since January 2021 and Samsung’s various mobile phone products and front-loading washing machines obtained the highest grade (Dark Green). Samsung Electronics will continuously strive to provide more information like repair manuals to consumers and steadily supply materials and parts at a reasonable price.

Customer Service

Samsung Electronics endeavors to replace broken parts and minimize repairs as much as possible. We have repair experts providing quick diagnoses and fixes for various malfunctions that occur throughout the use of a product, thereby extending the lifespan of the products. In addition, by expanding Samsung Care repair centers, we exert efforts to provide accurate diagnoses and repair services faster.

We Recover and Reuse Resources that Have Been Already Used

Breaking away from the previous resource consumption cycle that discards resources after a single use, we pursue various activities that consider a closed-loop recycling that recovers and reuses already-used resources. For this, we not only analyze and reuse the materials in our core products but also strive to establish a closed-loop society by developing waste treatment technologies to eradicate solid landfill and expanding the adoption of separation technology.

For instance, we perform recycling operations for key resources led by the Asan Recycling Center, established and run by Samsung Electronics in Korea.

The Asan Recycling Center was founded in 1998. At the center, major metals (iron, copper, aluminum, etc.) and plastic are separated from discarded refrigerators, washers and air conditioners to be recycled.

Notably, we established a closed-loop recycling scheme for waste plastic, by providing scrap plastic to recycled plastic manufacturers and have co-developed technology with them to reuse these materials in parts composing Samsung Electronics’ products.
Furthermore, Samsung Electronics holds various campaigns to take back cellphones that have reached the end-of-life. Collected cellphones are disassembled into main body and battery from which key resources are extracted and recycled. Batteries that include rare metals like lithium and cobalt, in particular, are sent to recycling companies to have main metal resources extracted and be used as sources of new batteries.

Closed-loop recycling process of waste plastic at Asan Recycling Center

parts production


used by consumers
and discarded

Asan Recycling

sort plastic
by materials

raw material

We take back and recycle e-waste in collaboration with local recycling schemes and organization.

Samsung Electronics provides regionally customized collection services so that consumers can conveniently dispose waste products.
Any electronic waste is collected regardless of brand.
The collected e-waste goes through pre-processing that includes sorting and crushing to be reused as sources for metals and plastic at recycling facilities.
We also operate internal requirements for recycling service partners (‘Samsung Requirements for WEEE Managing’)
that specify EHS-related laws and regulations, supplier management, the prohibition of illegal waste export, etc.
Samsung Electronics’ detailed recycling programs by region can be found below:

Regional recycling

We pursue zero waste to landfill at all worksites.

Samsung Electronics conducts activities to minimize waste generation from business sites as well as to increase the recycling rate from waste.
With this, we achieved a waste recycling rate of 96% in 2021. And our semiconductor business sites succeeded in accomplishing zero waste to landfill for the first time in the industry.

Our zero waste to landfill initiatives are officially verified through a third-party. We will strive to have all of our global business sites attain zero waste to landfill certification in the near future and to level up the grade of the certification as well.

Waste Treatment Process

Conserve and Reuse Valuable Water Resources

Water resource management is the first step to protecting the environment.

We focus on the 3Rs – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – in managing water resources. We maximize wastewater reuse rates through everyday reduction efforts, such as optimizing our worksites, replacing old valves and improving operation standards. We also pursue structural improvements, such as improving our manufacturing processes and establishing recycling systems. We also use CDP's water guidance to subdivide the water risks at our worksites located in water-stressed regions and respond with risk-specific strategies.

Our water resource policies

Our philosophy

We recognize the importance of water in sustainable society and corporate management and fulfil our responsibility as a global corporate citizen to protect water resources.

Action guidelines
  • Minimize water resource risks in business management

    Evaluate the impact of our business activities, such as production on water resources, to minimize risks while continuing to explore and introduce new technologies

  • Recognize the importance of water resources as part of our corporate culture

    Establish the preservation and sustainability of water resources as part of our corporate culture; help employees understand their responsibility for water resource management; and consider the impact of our operations on local communities and environment as a top priority

  • Actively cooperate with external policies on the protection of water resources.

    Based on guidelines on water resources, actively cooperate with local and central governments as well as international organizations, to establish and execute policies aimed at protecting and conserving water resources

  • Disclose our water resource policies and activities

    Ensure clear and transparent disclosure of corporate policies and activities regarding the use of water resources to our stakeholders, including local communities

Water Resources Risk Analysis and Countermeasure Strategies

Physical Risks

  • Drought
    • Installation of water storage tank that can hold an average of one-day’s worth of water needed to run manufacturing equipment and water reusing facilities
    • * Corresponding regions: Mexico, India, etc.
  • Flood
    • Building wetlands and dikes to protect worksites from flooding of nearby rivers, annual renewal of disaster compensation insurance along with regular inspection of water disaster prevention equipment, establishing an emergency response system and holding regular drills
    • * Corresponding region: Indonesia, etc.
  • Water Quality Degradation
    • More frequent in-house water quality analysis and improving the efficiency of water treatment facilities
    • * Corresponding regions: Brazil, Egypt, India, etc.
  • Ecosystem Resilience
    • Regular purification activities in collaboration with local governments and expanding environmental load reduction efforts
    • * Corresponding regions: Vietnam, US, Poland, etc.

Regulatory and Reputation Risks

  • Policies and Laws
    • Continuous monitoring and compliance with local environmental policies and regulations
    • Managing with stricter standards than permissible emission standards of each country
  • Infrastructure and Investment
    • In-house treatment of waste water at worksites as well as treating in the final treatment facility within the industrial complex
    • Measuring and managing quality of water discharged from the worksites, continuous expansion of investment in facilities to obtain clean water resources
  • Government and Governance
    • Active communication with local governments and communities, performing environmental protection activities
    • Initiating environmental protection activities