Samsung Electronics received a D plus grade for its decarbonization efforts in 2022, the lowest rating of any chipmaker in the ranking, according to a Greenpeace report released Tuesday.
The South Korean chipmaker finished behind Intel, which received the highest rating among chipmakers with a C-plus rating. It also lagged behind fellow South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix and Taiwan’s TSMC.
The report assessed the efforts of 11 of the largest suppliers of the world’s largest consumer brands, from chipmakers to display manufacturers to final assembly contractors. These companies supply major technology companies, including Apple and Samsung. While Samsung is a major player in the smartphone category, the South Korean electronics giant is also one of the world’s largest producers of semiconductor chips that power devices such as cell phones, laptops, cameras, cars and more.
Greenpeace’s report comes days before the upcoming COP28 summit, where COP28 president Ahmed Al Jaber urged governments to triple renewable energy capacity by 2030 as part of efforts to keep global warming above 1.5 degrees Celsius. 2030 is seen as a key timeline that companies must meet to keep the 1.5 degrees Celsius target within reach.
In recent years, greenhouse gas emissions from the consumer technology supply chain have increased as the consumer electronics market has rapidly expanded. According to Greenpeace, the semiconductor industry alone is estimated to emit 86 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2030, more than double Portugal’s annual carbon dioxide emissions.
Greenpeace says that most of the electronics industry’s carbon emissions come from the electronics supply chain – specifically from generating electricity to produce components and devices. To achieve carbon neutrality, suppliers in big tech’s vast supply chain should employ clean energy practices when creating and shipping parts, according to the nonprofit organization.
“It’s encouraging that electronics manufacturers are finally recognizing the need for climate action, but progress is uneven and too slow.” Greenpeace said in a statement on Tuesday. “The level of ambition of electronics manufacturers is still far from sufficient to ensure that the average global temperature increase remains within 1.5 degrees Celsius.”
Samsung received a low rating for a variety of reasons, namely what Greenpeace says is a lack of a 2030 emissions reduction target, a slow timeline for transitioning to 100% renewable energy, and a heavy reliance on low-impact renewable energy methods. environment.
Although Samsung has announced its goal of becoming carbon neutral and using 100% renewable energy by 2050, it has not chosen to extend this commitment to its supply chain, which is part of Scope 3 emissions as defined in the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. However, Samsung’s renewable energy index, or the percentage of renewable energy, increased by more than 10% in 2022 compared to 2021.
But this doesn’t only apply to Samsung. Greenpeace’s report shows that emissions from the five largest electronics manufacturers increased in 2022, including Samsung Electronics, Foxconn and Intel.
When it comes to final assembly in the supply chain, the biggest culprit was Foxconn, Apple’s largest contract manufacturer, which also received a D-plus rating. Foxconn had the highest emissions of all final assembly companies in the ranking. The report shows that in 2022, Foxconn’s emissions exceeded Iceland’s annual emissions.
Apple has long wanted to promote itself as an environmentally conscious company, but none of Apple’s suppliers have achieved 100% renewable energy in their operations, Greenpeace told CNET in September. For its part, the iPhone maker has committed to decarbonizing its supply chain by 2030. Earlier this year, the company reported that 300 suppliers had already committed to clean energy, a number that has continued to grow over the years. Apple is also actively encouraging other companies to participate Clean energy program for supplierswhich aims to power all suppliers with 100% renewable energy.
Another Apple supplier, Luxshare Precision, received the highest ranking among final assembly companies with a C-plus rating. Greenpeace says this is thanks to its commitment to reach 50% renewable energy by 2025. In 2022, over 70% of electricity came from renewable sources through high-impact methods. However, Luxshare Precision is still missing its 100% renewable energy target by 2030, Greenpeace says.
“It’s time for technology providers to take the lead and move to 100% renewable energy by 2030. It’s absolutely doable for every supplier in this ranking to achieve 100% renewable energy within a decade, but the first step is to set ambitious targets,” he said Xueying Wu, Greenpeace climate and energy activist.