Environmentally Conscious Worksites

Our Environmentally Conscious worksites coexist with nature

A key visual image of Environmentally Conscious Worksites page

All of Samsung Electronics’ worksites have obtained environmental management system certification and, as such, practice Eco-management. But our endeavors for the environment do not stop at the boundaries of the worksite. Within all of our worksites, we identify environmental problems and come up with solutions. By pinpointing the root of the problem and taking preventative action throughout the entire worksite system, we ensure that these solutions are not merely temporary or “too little, too late”. Outside of the worksites, meanwhile, we are enthusiastically engaged in biodiversity conservation work with local communities to preserve the ecosystem.

2020 KPI: Operating Environmentally Conscious Worksites

Environmental Management System Certification Rate
This image is the goal of Environmentally conscious worksites. Until 2020, it aims to be 100% in the environmental management system certification rate. In detail, all our 36 global manufacturing sites should go through ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001s.

By adopting the environmental management system at all
worksites we have implemented integrated management

In order to practice Eco-management, Samsung Electronics has managed worksites based on international Environment management standards. All of our worksites around the world hold the International Organization for Standardization’s environmental management certification, ISO 14001, and its energy management system certification, ISO 50001. Going a step further, Samsung Electronics has established our own standards that are even stricter than the international certifications, and we closely manage all aspects of the worksites. In addition, we have the Global EHS (Environment, Health & Safety) Center and the Global CS (Customer Satisfaction) Center under the direct leadership of the CEO to enable the organization to work systematically and organically.

Achieving 100% Environmental Management

The international standards ISO 14001 and ISO 50001 are the environmental management and energy management systems, respectively, set forth by the ISO technical committees. Companies seeking certification must have an Environment management policy and must have formulated detailed environmental objectives and action plans. To pass the difficult evaluations required by the ISO, an applicant must show its ability to execute a range of tasks such as resource allocation for complex undertakings and an efficient pursuit of relevant tasks. Certification is not a one-time achievement, but entails annual audits and re-certification every three years. 

Samsung Electronics’ worksites around the world have all successfully passed through these difficult certification processes, and for an even more advanced environmental management system we hold internal audits carried out by our own experts rather than relying only on external audits.
This infographic shows the environmental management. The left side is the information of internal auditors, and the right the images of certifications such as ISO 14001 and ISO 50001. The number of internal auditors are 360 for ISO 14001, 344 for ISO 50001.

We formulate greenhouse gas reduction policies
and put them into practice

There are actions that can be taken at the company level to cope with climate change. One such measure is to objectively and transparently gauge current performance and identify potential internal improvements. To this end, Samsung Electronics has been verifying its actual greenhouse gas emissions annually through a third party. In addition, based on the diagnoses of in-house examiners, we have sought ways to reduce our emissions and have continuously taken steps to improve. One of our primary focus areas to reduce greenhouse gas has been to constantly strive to lower F-Gas emissions, which has large impact on global warming. This has led to significant progress, particularly in our semiconductor manufacturing operations.

This infographic shows the accumulated F-Gas reduction status of Samsung locations in Korea, where much of our semiconductor manufacturing is located. Accumulated F-Gas reduction has improved YoY from 1.98 million Co2eq in 2015, to 3.63 million Co2eq in 2016, to 5.48 million Co2eq in 2017, to 7.37 million Co2eq in 2018. The accumulated reductions over the past 4 years totals to 7.37 million CO2eq.

Samsung Electronics’ Efforts to Reduce Greenhouse Gases
In semiconductor processing, cleaning the surface of silicon wafers requires the use of F-Gas, a type of greenhouse gas. A wafer is a thin slice of silicon that serves as a semiconductor’s base. The quality and performance of a semiconductor depends greatly on the condition of the surface of the wafer, so using F-Gas was unavoidable. Therefore, Samsung Electronics researched ways to keep F-Gas emissions to a minimum, and as a result, we developed and installed new equipment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The brainchild of collaboration between Samsung Electronics and Samsung Engineering, this equipment dramatically decreases F-Gas use, not only decomposing the gas but also significantly reducing the amount of energy needed to operate the equipment. The previous method of decomposing the gas using high heat required a lot of energy and thereby produced additional greenhouse gas itself. However, the new technology enables the decomposition of greenhouse gases at a low temperature, resulting in less energy consumption. Thanks to these efforts, we treat more than 90% of the greenhouse gas produced at our worksites.

We minimize our environmental impact by reducing the discharge of pollutants from our worksites

In the manufacturing process, there are inevitable by-products that can affect the atmosphere and water quality. Samsung Electronics invests a great deal in minimizing the negative effects such pollutants have on the environment by, for example, replacing equipment and improving processes. We equipped our boilers with “low-NOx” burners that use less energy and significantly decrease emissions of NOx and CO2. In addition, when setting up a production line, we install pollution control equipment that is optimized for that line. In particular, we augmented our water treatment facilities at our Korean worksites to remove 97.6% of pollutants. Moreover, hazardous waste is stored in special containers to ensure they do not leak, completely eliminating the possibility of soil contamination. We also undertake pollution prevention initiatives in which we inspect elements that could produce pollutants and remove them in advance. We spare no effort in minimizing our environmental impact through various pollution control and prevention initiatives that start even before the manufacturing process and extend well beyond it.

This infographic shows Samsung’s capital investments to improve operational environmental performance. Samsung’s environmental investments were 5.82 billion KRW in 2013, 6.883 billion KRW in 2014, 6.59 billion KRW in 2015, 9.334 billion KRW in 2016, 9.515 billion KRW in 2017, and 9.167 billion KRW in 2018. Compared to 2013, the environmental investments in 2018 increased by 58%.

To keep the Earth healthy,
we support biodiversity preservation initiatives

Preserving the ecosystem and protecting the environment are important parts of maintaining a healthy planet. The employees of Samsung Electronics participate in activities to safeguard the health of the ecosystem. By sharing the basic philosophy of preserving biodiversity, and by holding campaigns that promote its importance, we strongly encourage employee participation.

This infographic shows the basic philosophy and action plans that Samsung Electronics has in order to secure biodiversity. The basic philosophy is “Samsung Electronics recognizes the benefits and the importance of the ecosystem and of biodiversity. To minimize effects detrimental to biodiversity, we actively engage in ecosystem preservation initiatives.” For the action plans, 1) all employees recognize the preservation of biodiversity as one of Eco-management’s key values, 2) Assess and analyze a product’s impact on the ecosystem and biodiversity throughout its life cycle and strive to minimize any negative effects, 3) Prioritize regions with high biodiversity value across all worksites in South Korean and abroad, and undertake biodiversity conservation activities that cater to local needs, and 4) Continuously communicate with employees, local communities, NGOs, and other stakeholders and contribute to enhancing the biodiversity conservation efforts of local communities.
Protecting the Habitats of Endangered Species

We have identified endangered species and their habitats in regions where our manufacturing worksites are located, and we are carrying out biodiversity conservation campaigns with relevant organizations including local communities, public institutions, and academia.

This infographic tells endangered species adjacent to worksites in South Korea. In Suwon City, there are 1 in mammals, 6 in birds, 2 in amphibians, and 1 in plants. In Hwaseong City, 1 in Mammals, 26 in birds, 3 in amphibians, 1 in insects, and 2 in plants. In Gwangju, 5 in mammals, 6 in birds, 1 in fish, and 1 in plants are endangered. In Yongin City, 2 in amphibians, and 1 in insects, in Asan City, 1 in mammals, 19 in birds, 3 in amphibians, and 2 in others are critical. In Gumi City, there are 2 in mammals, 7 in birds, 1 in fish, and 3 in plants as endangered species.

White-naped Crane Conservation – The Restoration of Jaepyeong (Jaedurumi + Haepyeong Wetlands)
In 2013, Samsung Electronics’ worksite in Gumi, Gyeongsangbuk-do Province became the first in Korea to sign a biodiversity preservation partnership with the central and local governments and universities. Since then, we have supported the artificial insemination of two pairs of endangered white-naped cranes (Korean Natural Monument No. 203) that were brought in from the Netherlands. In April 2016, the Bird Ecological Environment Research Institute was able to successfully breed the birds. This will help to restore the ecosystem of the Haepyeong Wetlands, a habitat for migratory birds, and is a significant contribution to conserving biodiversity.

Preservation of Coastal Sand Dunes
At our Onyang worksite in Chungcheongnam-do Province, we have been cooperating with the Geum River Basin Environmental Office since 2008 to preserve the coastal sand dunes, which are home to two endangered species, the Chinese Egret and the Mongolian Racerunner. Currently, in Boyreong City, we are supporting activities such as ocean cleaning, removing invasive alien plants and protecting the Sohwang sand dune, while in Asan we are supporting the creation of silvergrass habitats.

Eradication of Foreign Fish Species/Plants
Our Giheung and Hwaseong worksites in Gyeonggi-do Province carry out ecosystem preservation activities every year at the Osan and Woncheonri Streams, eradicating foreign species, feeding the wild animals and launching campaigns to protect the environment.

World Water Day Event

Water is the source of all life. Every year, all of Samsung Electronics’ worksites around the globe commemorate World Water Day on March 22nd and carry out activities to preserve streams and ocean ecosystems. Not only employees, but also people from various backgrounds such as local communities, civic groups, and academia have all been coming together to support water conservation campaigns, water resources education and other conservation activities. This is because water can only be safeguarded when we work together.

A photo of world water day event
Shaping the future together: we aim for a sustainable supply chain
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