Samsung’s reliance on fossil fuels poses growing risk to investors
SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS LTD (OTCM:SSNLF). Electronics is under growing pressure over its inaction on fossil fuel emissions, as it falls behind rivals Apple and Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC in making environmental commitments. Analysts and investors warn that Samsung’s reluctance to match its competitors’ pledges poses “systemic risks” to its future with customers and governments increasingly demanding low-carbon supply chains.
Unlike Apple, TSMC and fellow Korean chipmaker SK Hynix, Samsung has yet to make a public commitment to 100 per cent renewable electricity use worldwide. The operations of the world’s biggest smartphone and memory chipmaker in South Korea and Vietnam, which together account for more than 80 per cent of the company’s total electricity consumption, are fuelled largely by coal and gas. “
On renewables Apple is taking responsibility for global society in a big way, but we don’t see the same thing happening in Samsung,” said Park Yoo-kyung, head of Apac responsible investment and governance at Dutch asset manager APG.
“Samsung seems to think: ‘We are a manufacturing company, we sell things, and our responsibility ends there,’” said Park. “That’s a 20th-century business model, and a 20th-century management philosophy.” Critics argue that Samsung has been reluctant to chart out a path to decarbonisation because it relies on cheap electricity provided by South Korea’s state energy monopoly.
In 2020, South Korea had the second-lowest share of renewable energy in the G20, just above Saudi Arabia, according to the International Energy Agency.