On June 28, Samsung Electronics released the 2021 edition of its Sustainability Report.
Covering the corporate sustainability efforts in 2020, the report includes highlights in each of the following areas: Board of Directors’ independence and transparency; stronger compliance and ethical management; sustainability governance; sustainability in the pandemic era; sustainability achievements by business unit. Detailed activities are presented under the five sustainability pillars of Environment, Our Employees, Empowering Communities, Digital Responsibility, and Sustainable Supply Chain.
In this year’s report, the company highlights the new voices of both internal and external stakeholders such as MZ generation employees and NGOs, on top of the message by the Chair of the Board and top management on its unwavering commitment to corporate sustainability.
Following the separation of the Chair and the CEO within its Board of Directors in 2018, Samsung Electronics appointed its first-ever independent director as Chair of the Board in 2020.
For stronger compliance and ethical management, the company elevated its Compliance team to directly report to the CEO, and to ensure the independence and authority of Chief Compliance Officer. The company also expanded a reporting system in which an outside stakeholder can anonymously report a legal violation. The Samsung Compliance Committee, an independent entity separate from Samsung Electronics was also established to strictly monitor compliance risks.
The sustainability governance was also further enhanced. In 2020, the Sustainability Council started to be led by the Head of Corporate Management Office. Furthermore, the Corporate Sustainability Center in charge of sustainability strategies and stakeholder engagement was promoted as a direct organization under the CEO. In addition, Sustainability Management Offices were newly established in business units to strengthen the execution of sustainability strategies. Since 2021, sustainability KPIs have been added into the performance evaluation and compensation of executives, encouraging them to consider sustainability management in all parts of the business.
In 2020, Samsung Electronics made various efforts to ensure the safety of its employees, its business partners, and local communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The company operated in-house screening clinics in Hwaseong, Suwon, and Gumi in Korea, and provided personal hygiene products to its employees. Samsung also provided its business partners that were facing economic challenges with business stabilization funds and logistics expenses, among others. Also, the company has donated Galaxy Tab devices to UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency for refugee camp youths in Kenya, whose educational environment has worsened due to COVID-19.
The report also presented the sustainability performance by business unit including Consumer Electronics (CE) division’s Eco-Package and solar cell remote control; the Information Technology & Mobile Communications (IM) division’s Galaxy Upcycling and the Samsung Global Goals Campaign; and the Device Solutions (DS) division’s strides in reducing the energy consumption of products as well as activities aimed at reducing the carbon emissions from manufacturing processes.
Environment-related performance can also be found in the report. In 2018, Samsung committed to source renewable energy for 100% of all worksites in the U.S., China, and Europe by 2020. With implemented action plans tailored to each region, the company achieved its renewable energy target for these worksites in 2020.
The company also amended its labor and human rights policies in 2020. It strengthened its Child Labor Prohibition Policy and Migrant Worker Policy. In the Global Code of Conduct, Samsung also guaranteed the right to freedom of association. The report also highlights how the company strived to strengthen its supply chain management and to improve the work environment of suppliers.
For diversity and inclusion, Samsung established its vision, entitled “Be Yourself, We Build a Better Tomorrow” and continued to lead the initiatives through concerted actions with its global employees.
With its vision of ‘Together for Tomorrow! Enabling People’, Samsung has been and will continue to operate social contribution activities focusing on youth education and growth for their sustainable development. As described in the report, Samsung launched educational support programs globally to develop the future technological capabilities of youths. Also, the company launched C-lab Outside program in Korea that is designed to foster the startup ecosystem.
Samsung has published the Sustainability Report on an annual basis since 2008. The 2021 Sustainability Report was designed in landscape format for better readability and includes enhanced interactive functions that are optimized for viewing on digital devices.
The full text of the 2021 Samsung Electronics Sustainability Report can be downloaded here.