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Samsung targets 100% renewables for US, European, Chinese operations by 2020

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. unveiled a handful of clean energy initiatives, including plans to use renewable energy for 100% of its factories, offices and other facilities across the U.S., Europe and China by 2020.

To meet its 100% renewable energy usage goal, the South Korean electronics maker is exploring options for renewable energy certificates, power purchase agreements and other financial investments, according to its latest sustainability report. The company also announced that it will install 42,000 square meters of solar panels at its corporate headquarters in Suwon, South Korea, this year, and install solar arrays and geothermal power generation facilities at two other corporate campuses in South Korea. Samsung also plans to work with its suppliers to establish their own renewable energy targets.

With these initiatives, the company said in a June 14 press release that it is positioned to increase its worldwide clean energy usage to the equivalent of 3,100 MW in solar capacity by 2020.

"Samsung Electronics is fulfilling its duty as a corporate citizen by expanding and supporting the use of renewable energy," Won Kyong Kim, Samsung's executive vice president and head of global public affairs, said in a statement. "As demonstrated by our expanded commitment, we are focused on protecting our planet and are doing our part as a global environmental steward."

Samsung operates 39 manufacturing locations across the world, and the countries' various grid systems and market rules mean the electronics company will have to tailor its sustainability goals for each region, it said in the report.

"Particularly in Korea where 65% of our electricity consumption happens, there are currently no available RECs trading systems or PPAs," the company said in the report, released June 15. "Korea's physical environment does not lend itself to the development of large scale wind or solar facilities. Despite the hardships, we will actively cooperate with various stakeholders to expand green power infrastructures."