Skip to content

Who's Greener, Samsung or LG?

Friday, October 1st, 2010

The two most famous Korean conglomeratesates, Samsung and LG, compete with each other over almost everything: Desktop computers, laptops, mobile phones, refrigerators, air conditioners, washing machines and TVs. Now we can add “Green Management.”

Samsung Electronics

About a year ago, Samsung Electronics announced a new green management initiative that aimed to become a leading “eco-friendly enterprise.” Samsung established a comprehensive set of goals intended to materialize the vision and make Samsung a leading eco-friendly company by 2013.

Samsung stated the company would focus on achieving low-carbon growth, laying out four core green management objectives as part of its “Eco-Management 2013” plan. The objectives included reducing greenhouse gas emissionsfrom manufacturing facilities by 50 percent; cutting indirect greenhouse gas emissions from all products by 84 million tons over a five year period through 2013; ensuring 100 percent of Samsung’s products are eco-friendly and exceed global eco-mark standards;invest 5.4 trillion won in eco-management initiatives; and enhancing green partnerships with suppliers and partners.

“As a leading global technology company, Samsung Electronics has always taken our environmental responsibilities very seriously, but today we are committing to becoming a truly green enterprise that places eco-management at the very heart of our business decision-making and growth,” said Lee Yoon-Woo, Samsung Electronics’ vice chairman and CEO.

“This eco-management initiative will encompass all of our global operations, supply chain, and the complete lifecycle of Samsung products, and by achieving these goals we aim to lead the way in tackling the environmental problems that are facing our planet,” he explained.

One year after announcing the new green management initiative, Samsung Electronics announced its accomplishments. Samsung has reduced greenhouse gas emissions from manufacturing facilities by 31 percent to 5.1 tons of carbon dioxide per 100 million won compared to 2008. Its LCD line got certified a CDM (Clean Development Mechanism). Through this project, the company achieved up to 7.7 million tons of CERs (Certified Emission Reduction) for the next 10 years, which is worth 92.4 million Euro.

Also to reduce indirect greenhouse gas emissions from Samsung products, the company enhanced energy efficiency itsproducts including TVs, refrigerators and air conditioning systems by 16 percent compared to 2008. Samsung Electronics has reduced 9.6 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions from Samsung products sold between Januarys to June 2009. Samsung Electronics is actively involved in eco-friendly products development and its expansion. The company aims to exceed Good Eco-Product criteria for 100 percent of

Samsung’s products compared to the 50 percent as of 2008. The number exceeded the initial goal of 80 percent as of 2009 by 11 percent. “Good Eco-Product” is Samsung Electronics’ own criteria for eco-friendly products. Samsung assigns each newly developed product an eco-rating (Eco-product, Good Eco-product or Premium Eco-product) based on internal evaluation criteria.

In order to be considered a Good Eco-Product, products must exceed basic industry requirements, exhibit differentiating eco-friendly features and satisfy global eco-mark standards. As the company’s 2,134 product models got credited Global Eco-Marks, Samsung has been a global leader in eco-friendly products . Samsung Electronics also focused on increasing the use of recyclable and eco-friendly materials. In 2009, the company collected and recycled 240,000 tons of waste electronic goods from 60 countries.

Samsung also unveiled on May 2010 a plan to invest big in environmental and related businesses. The company announced a long-term plan to invest 23.3 trillion won through 2020 in new businesses in the environmental and health-care industries. Five major new areas of investment outlined include solar cells, rechargeable cells for hybrid electric vehicles, Light Emitting Diode technologies, bio-pharmaceuticals and medical devices. Samsung Electronics announced that the five new growth businesses are expected to create around 45,000 jobs and generate 50 trillion won in annual revenue for affiliate companies by 2020.

The investment plan was agreed on during a Samsung Council of Presidents’ meeting on May 10, 2010 attended by Samsung Electronics chairman Lee Kun-Hee and heads of related affiliates and business units. Attending executives received presentations on market and technology trends in the new business areas and discussed the investment plans.

For the last one year alone, Samsung invested 1.01 trillion won in eco-friendly product development and “green manufacturing.”

As Samsung Electronics has been taking the lead in industry efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the company has been awarded as one of global top 10 companies in the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI). Samsung Electronics was the only Asian company among top 10 companies. As well, Samsung is listed in Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI).

LG Electronics

LG Electronics has not fallen a step behind Samsung Electronics in terms of green management. LG Electronics unveiled its green management initiative under the “green vision 2012” in December 2009 at its Changwon plant. The company announced that it will slash 10 million tons of carbon dioxide by 2012. For the early half of this year, LG Electronics reduced 0.1 million tons of carbon dioxide in the production process, and 2 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions in the process of using those products. The total 2.1 million greenhouse gas emissions cut by LG Electronics is equal to planting 700 million trees.

LG Electronics also aims to enhance energy efficiency of its products 15 percent by 2012 comparing to 2007 to reduce greenhouse gas emission in the use of products.

The company announced its “Life is Good when it is Green” initiative, the foundation of its global sustainability program in Las Vegas, January 2009. The worldwide program focuses on sustainability through eco-design and eco-products, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, responsible electronics recycling and addressing global climate change.

“With Life is Good when it is Green, we are focusing on environmentally sustainable solutions, developing Eco-Designs and distributing Eco-Products to help create a safer, cleaner world,” an LG representative said.

LG’s eco-design strategy works to reduce the environmental impact of a product’s development, production, and circulation while improving efficiency of resources, recycling, and reducing hazardous materials, according to the company.

Meanwhile, LG Electronics launched “LG Green Consultants” and “LG Green Volunteers” to help employees understand the importance of green management and reduce green house gas emissions in plants and offices. Each team is organized into 50-person teams.

LG also set up the “Life’s Green Class” with Hanyang University and the University of Pune in India to educate junior high and high school students on the importance of the environment and how to preserve it. The company expects about 50,000 students will get environmental education through the program.

Life’s Green Class was originally designed as a scientific drama for Korean elementary and middle high school students in 2006. As climate change has gotten more attention, the program is made up with environmental education. The vehicles carry new technologies as well as audio-visual equipment to visit each school in the nation. LG Electronics and the University of Pune have been developing contents focused on Indian students since last March with Indian schools visitingKorean Life’s Green Class sites. This customized program will start in September in Pune with financial support of LG Electronics and Pune University with Hanyang University’s contents. LG Electronics intends to expand the program to other provinces depending on the response in Pune. The Life’s Green Class was held 50 times in Korea last year for more than 300,000 students.

Kim Young-ki, vice-president and chief relations officer said: “We are very pleased to introduce Korean environmental education programs overseas. We hope this program helps students learn the importance of the environment.”

Login or register to tag items

Open source newspaper and magazine cms software