In 2022, Samsung Electronics announced its environmental strategy to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
As part of these sustainability efforts, Samsung has expanded the use of recycled materials in plastic parts for its products. By 2030, Samsung aims to incorporate 50% recycled materials into its plastic parts and by 2050, aims to use 100% recycled materials for all of its plastic parts.
“Samsung is constantly pushing the boundaries of innovation and embracing responsibility towards a sustainable future. Samsung’s new strategy is to focus on the development of smaller, lighter solar cell remotes. This not only represents a remarkable technological leap forward but also embodies the businesses commitment to reducing the brand’s environmental footprint,” said the Head of Consumer Electronics at Samsung Electronics East Africa, Mr. Samuel Odhiambo. He further went on to say, “By leveraging advanced technology, Samsung aims to minimize waste and maximize energy efficiency, thus making Samsung products eco-friendlier. Samsung’s initiative is a testament to the business’ pledge to promote a healthier environment and a greener planet.”
Samsung Electronics developed the SolarCell Remote to combat the environmental impact of discarding used batteries. It is the industry’s first rechargeable remote control, with a solar panel (solar cell) that can be charged by sunlight or indoor lighting. The remote can also be charged with a USB-C cable so consumers have many ways to charge their remote.
The level of carbon emissions from the SolarCell Remote, from production to disposal, is roughly one-third of that of the manufacturing of disposable batteries. By eliminating the need for disposable batteries, not only are fewer resources consumed but carbon emissions are lowered by manufacturing fewer batteries over time.”
Another remarkable feature is its low power consumption. The SolarCell Remote was designed to run on about 10% of the power that typical remote controls use. Samsung made significant progress by drastically eliminating unnecessary outputs and operations, contributing to great energy savings.
The SolarCell Remote Recycles More Than 55 Tonnes of Waste
Twenty-four percent of the plastics used in the SolarCell Remote come from recycled materials. This means more than 55 tonnes of waste are recycled for the annual production of 10 million SolarCell Remotes. This equates to about an 18% decrease in carbon emissions compared to production using conventional materials.
This was no simple undertaking. It takes time and effort to develop and apply alternative materials made from recycled waste in a meaningful way.
“With growing concerns about ocean waste, we looked carefully into many solutions. We chose to use recycled plastics from discarded fishing nets for 20% of brackets of the 2023 SolarCell Remote,” said HyunJoo Kim from Mecha Solution Lab. “Going forward, we aim to foster the use of these resources and utilize recycled plastics more aggressively.”
This year, Samsung started using recycled plastics from discarded fishing nets. While they are costly and difficult to process, the end result is a higher quality of materials which contribute to Samsung’s mission of everyday sustainability. In recognition of this product’s environmentally friendly design, Time Magazine selected the SolarCell Remote as one of Time Magazine’s “The Best Inventions of 2022.”
All of Samsung’s 2023 Lifestyle TVs are equipped with the 2023 SolarCell Remote. Samsung’s goal is to integrate more eco-conscious products and processes into a wider range of models across regions and empower consumers to live a more sustainable lifestyle. In addition, Samsung decreased the size of the SolarCell Remote by 22% in its latest iteration. This means that the remote control uses less plastic while enhancing the product’s usability.
As the SolarCell Remote became smaller, manufacturing uses less plastic and it became an ideal size for consumers’ hands, making it a better product all around.
Pursuing an Eco-Conscious Strategy with a Streamlined Approach
Samsung’s next steps to enhance sustainability of the SolarCell Remote is to keep
moving in the direction of light, thin and small to keep the use of plastic low.
Samsung is dedicated to creating a user-friendly remote control that consumes fewer resources and less energy. The ultimate goal is to empower users to control products with minimal effort while reducing the use of materials and energy. This could mean one day we get rid of the remote control entirely. The SolarCell Remote is a bold step in the direction of everyday sustainability and Samsung can’t wait to show everyone what’s next.
The ambitious journey of the SolarCell Remote to contribute to a more eco-conscious lifestyle is just beginning.