By Rusen Kumar
Los Vegas: 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. The company is building a more sustainable, customized and connected future with products and initiatives that minimize environmental impact, cater to consumers’ lifestyles, and make smart home experiences truly seamless.
Samsung Electronics unveiled its vision for the future, “Together for tomorrow”, during a pre-show keynote event at CES 2022 today. The new vision is one that empowers everyone to create positive change and drives collaborations that address some of the planet’s most pressing challenges.
Keynote speaker Jong-Hee (JH) Han, Vice Chairman, CEO and Head of DX (Device eXperience) Division at Samsung, highlighted the company’s efforts to usher in a new age of togetherness, with customizable experiences that reflect consumers’ evolving lifestyles, and innovations that mark progress for both society and the planet. The keynote illustrated how Samsung plans to make its vision a reality by introducing a range of sustainability initiatives, purposeful partnerships, and customizable and connected technologies.
At its core, Samsung’s vision for the future is built on what the company calls “everyday sustainability.” It is a concept that inspires Samsung to put sustainability at the heart of everything it does. 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.
Helped reduce carbon emissions by nearly 700,000 tons
Samsung’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.
Samsung’s 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.
All of Samsung’s TV boxes included recycled materials
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 award-winning Eco-Packaging program. The expansion of the program, 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.
Collected more than five million tons of e-waste
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, Samsung 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.
“These are important steps,” said Han, “but we cannot achieve our goals alone. We believe open innovation and collaboration are keys to fighting climate change and protecting our environment.” With this in mind, Samsung 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.
Coming together to address environmental issues
Samsung’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 hard work and dedication 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.”
To introduce more tailored product experiences to consumers’ homes, Samsung announced the rollout of even more customization options for its Bespoke lineup of home appliances. This includes new Bespoke options for Samsung’s Family Hub and French 3-Door and 4-Door refrigerators, alongside dishwashers, ranges and over-the-range microwaves. Samsung is also introducing new products like the Bespoke Jet™ vacuum and Bespoke Washer and Dryer, expanding the lineup to every room in the home to offer consumers more ways to customize their space to suit their style and needs.
Ushering in an Era of Seamless Connectivity
Building a better future together for tomorrow requires more than building customization and sustainability into the core of Samsung’s products – it also requires seamless connectivity. During the keynote, Samsung demonstrated its commitment to ushering in an era of truly seamless connected experiences by highlighting its collaborations with partners as well as its next-gen products.
Users complete control over their smart home
Unveiled for the first time at CES, the all-new Samsung Home Hub takes connected home experiences to the next level with a SmartThings service that integrates with AI-connected appliances to simplify home management. Samsung Home Hub combines six SmartThings services into one convenient device that gives users complete control over their smart home and makes it easier to manage household chores.
To enable different types of smart devices to work better with each other, Samsung announced plans to make SmartThings Hub a built-in feature of its 2022 TVs, Smart Monitors and Family Hub refrigerators. Doing so will help make connected living experiences more accessible and seamless for everyone.
Pointing to the need to offer consumers the best smart home experience regardless of brand, Samsung also announced its role as a founding member of the Home Connectivity Alliance (HCA), which brings together various smart home appliance manufacturers. The organization aims to foster greater interoperability between devices across brands to give consumers more choice, and to enhance the security and safety of products and services.
“As a global coalition of smart home appliance manufacturers, HCA members share a belief that connected ecosystems and digital technology will allow us to further develop product experiences that are elegant, hyper-personalized and truly smart for our consumers,” said Katherine Shin, Vice President of Customer Experience at Trane Technologies. “The HCA invites any global manufacturers with a similar vision for efficiency, interoperability and innovation to come and build with us.”
Deep commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR)
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 programs 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, programs like Solve for Tomorrow and Samsung Innovation Campus are turning dreams into action.
“Today, I’m honored to share that Samsung’s programs to empower the next generation have now reached more than 21 million people since 2012,” said Han. “This is the better tomorrow we all seek: enabling people to reach beyond their dreams, a planet protected so others can experience its wonders, [and] innovation as the spark for change.”
About the Author
Rusen Kumar is the founder and managing editor of India CSR – The CSR Informer of India. He writes on CSR, Sustainability and Environmental affairs. He brings an understanding of governance, leadership development, social development, human development, and strategic focus by serving for-profit and not-for-profit boards and as an advisor to chief executive officers and executive management members. His leadership accomplishments in social enterprise, planning, and governance range from viable achievements in knowledge forum initiatives to advancement of corporate social responsibility issues in India. He can be reached at email@example.com. Read more about Rusen Kumar