Less than a week after Wal-Mart announced plans to build a massive “Sustainability Index” for every product it sells, Samsung has announced its own sustainability plan: a $4.3 billion investment to cut carbon emissions by 50% over four years and build environmentally-friendly products.
As part of the Eco-Management 2013 plan, Samsung hopes to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 84 million tons over five years, increase the energy efficiency in LCD and semiconductor production, develop new products with recyclable and green materials, cut carbon emissions of manufacturing facilities, and build green partnerships with suppliers. Samsung products will be labeled “Eco-Product,” “Good Eco-Product,” or “Premium Eco-Product” using internal evaluation criteria based on global standards, but the company hasn’t revealed which standards it is following.
Just as many critics doubt Wal-Mart’s ability to pull off its Sustainability Index, Samsung’s plan also seems overly ambitious. Wal-Mart doesn’t plan to roll out a sustainability rating system for at least five years, so how can Samsung expect to pull off its ambitious goals by 2013? Regardless of how long it takes, Samsung deserves kudos for trying. And as one of the largest electronic manufacturers in the world, the company could lead the charge and provide an example for other manufacturers looking to cut down on emissions.