In San Francisco in early February, Samsung Electronics hosted Galaxy of Impact, the event underscoring how Galaxy delivers sustainable solutions that help open possibilities for a better future. During the panel discussions, Samsung sustainability leaders and partners spoke about the steps that Samsung is taking today – and in the future – to put sustainability at the center of its innovations. The event unveiled new, sustainable features in the Galaxy S23 series, shining a light on how Samsung is working to imbed sustainability throughout the entire design and production lifecycle. These efforts embody Samsung’s focus on designing more sustainable, innovative devices that minimize environmental impact without compromising on quality.
Galaxy of Impact also emphasized the importance for organizations to work together across sectors and build innovative tools and technology that allow communities all over the world to achieve the Global Goals. Leaders from Samsung’s partner organization the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and its youth-led initiative Generation17, a joint project between Samsung and the UNDP launched in 2020 to further progress on the Global Goals, spoke to the power of global corporations to address today’s most pressing environmental and societal issues.
The first panel highlighted how Samsung and the Galaxy S23 series enable every Galaxy user to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle.
Samsung technology and sustainability leaders discussed their work toward achieving 2025 and 2030 goals by innovating to design more sustainable products. The new Galaxy S23 series represents these efforts by minimizing Samsung’s environmental footprint while maximizing performance.
Inhee Chung, Vice President of the Corporate Sustainability Center at Samsung Electronics, kicked off the panel by providing an overview of Samsung’s new commitment to its concept of Everyday Sustainability. “It’s the idea that by building sustainability into the product design and user experience, we, and the billions that use our products, can contribute to a healthier, more livable planet,” she stated.
Chung noted, “Everyday Sustainability is grounded in a goal to reach net zero carbon emissions by the end of 2030 for our Device eXperience (DX) Division, and as part of the DX Division, Samsung’s Mobile eXperience (MX) Business is essential in helping us deliver on our commitment.” She added “MX Business is aiming to achieve its own sustainability goals – incorporate recycled materials in all mobile products, eliminate plastics in packaging, achieve zero standby power consumption for smartphone chargers and achieve zero waste to landfill by 2025.”
Won-Joon Choi, Executive Vice President, Head of Mobile R&D Office, Mobile eXperience Business at Samsung Electronics, focused on how Samsung’s sustainability commitments come to life in the new Galaxy S23 series. “For Samsung, breakthroughs in sustainability can be breakthroughs in performance,” he emphasized. “We aim to create an experience in which you don’t have to sacrifice the things you love to be a more eco-conscious consumer.” He added the Galaxy S23 series was “built with innovation and sustainability without compromise, and it will enable users to make a positive impact while enjoying a great mobile experience.”
Choi explained that, through the Galaxy S23 series, Samsung is “delivering a high-performance device that meets the highest of quality standards while also using more recycled materials than any other Galaxy smartphone to date.” He then pointed out that “Samsung increased the amount of recycled materials from six internal components in the Galaxy S22 Ultra to 12 internal and external components in the Galaxy S23 Ultra.”
He went on to explain that the Galaxy S23 series used more recycled plastics, and newly incorporated pre-consumer recycled aluminum and glass.
Choi highlighted all of these efforts are “meaningful steps in the right direction, helping us expand the Galaxy legacy to be more than just innovation for performance. These are innovations designed with the planet and you in mind.”
Mark Newton, Director, Head of Corporate Sustainability at Samsung Electronics America, highlighted that “we’re working diligently to extend the lifecycle of our devices to encourage users to reliably experience the optimized performance of the Galaxy for as long as possible.” He emphasized, “The Galaxy S23 series was built to last longer, optimizing durability with IP68 water resistance and dust proofing. We also provide five years of security updates and four generations of OS upgrades.”
He added, “In the US, customers can use our Certified Re-Newed and Trade-In programs to send us their old devices to be refurbished and reused. We also partner with iFixit, the leading online repair community, to empower users to fix their own devices with self-repair kits.” He also touched on how Samsung will continue “expanding efforts to improve resource circularity over the entire product lifecycle.”
Newton also explained that the Galaxy S23 series features redesigned packaging that uses 100% recycled paper for the packaging box and front and back cover protectors.
Each panelist expressed their excitement and hopes for the future of sustainability at Samsung. All agreed that there will be even larger challenges ahead; however, the panelists stressed that by working together, Samsung can make a positive, tangible impact for people and the planet.
The second panel dove deep into Samsung’s partnership with the UNDP and their joint efforts to achieve the Global Goals.
Together, Samsung and the UNDP created the Samsung Global Goals app, which raises funds for UNDP projects and amplifies stories about Generation17, a group of 14 Young Leaders from various countries around the world working toward the Global Goals and inspiring young people to do the same. Leaders from UNDP and Samsung were joined by two Generation17 Young Leaders, who called on the audience to use their voices to accelerate progress for the 2030 Agenda.
Boaz Paldi, Chief Creative Officer at the UNDP, opened the panel by stating, “When it comes to the 17 Global Goals, I cannot stress enough the importance of what is at stake here.” He continued, “To help the world achieve [the Global Goals] by 2030, UNDP plays an essential role in implementing integrated solutions in the communities that are furthest behind. In short, we help communities and governments build the structures and policies that help address these global challenges.”
Paldi also explained the UNDP’s partnership with Samsung to unveil the power behind Samsung’s vast resources and global scale. He noted, “In 2019, we created the Samsung Global Goals app, an education and donation-based mobile app that informs people about the Global Goals and encourages them to take action just by using their smartphone. Today, the app is pre-installed on nearly 300 million Galaxy devices worldwide. And thanks to the dedication and passion of the global Galaxy community, we have helped generate over USD10 million towards UNDP’s global programs and initiatives.”
The Samsung Global Goals app’s creator, Sergey Lossev, Senior Director of Project Management at Samsung Electronics, highlighted that he’s always “been passionate about making the world a better place.” In order to accomplish this, his team “decided to create a centralized hub for social impact right on a device that has become an essential part of Galaxy smartphones. The app aims to increase awareness and raise funds for UNDP’s work around the world.”
Two Generation17 Young Leaders sat beside Paldi and Lossev reiterated how UNDP, Samsung and the Samsung Global Goals app have greatly benefited their platforms.
Tamara Gondo, Generation17 Young Leader (Indonesia), explained that by joining Generation17 and earning recognition from Samsung and UNDP, her B2B social enterprise Liberty Society “has been exposed to more than 10 million people worldwide, opening our doors to connect to partners in Malaysia, London and today, in San Francisco.” Gondo continued “For organizations like Samsung, UNDP and news media, it’s about using their power and influence to effect change within their spheres of influence.”
Máximo Mazzocco, Generation17 Young Leader (Argentina), followed by explaining that the Generation17 partnership has helped grow his environmental nonprofit Eco House “helping us scale from an organization for youth in Argentina to one of the biggest youth-led organizations in the climate movement.” He added that we’ve been “given the chance to change the narrative and make an impact on a global scale,” and we must work across sectors in order to make progress toward achieving the Global Goals.
Harnessing the Power of Galaxy to Offer Sustainable Solutions
Galaxy of Impact highlights the progress that Samsung has made to integrate sustainability into each level of the business. This event also represents Samsung’s challenging journey to achieve its 2025 and 2030 commitments and make progress toward the Global Goals. The path forward will not be easy; however, Samsung leaders are dedicated to collaborating with partners to design solutions that allow each and every Galaxy user to incorporate sustainability into their daily lives.
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