Samsung Electronics [005930:KS], the world’s top smartphone and chip maker, will soon join the RE100 Initiative, a global eco-friendly organization whose members commit to shifting to 100% renewable energy by as early as 2025, as reported by the Korea Economic Daily on August 14. According to people familiar with the matter, the company will announce its renewed environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategies in the coming weeks, including its RE100 projects. According to analysts, joining the RE100 Initiative could strengthen a company’s competitiveness in the export market amid the tightening of global environmental rules. Among the over 360 signatories to the RE100 Initiative, 14 are South Korean enterprises, including Hyundai Motor [005380:KS] and LG Energy Solution [373220:KS].
This was the South Korean firm’s latest effort to improve its corporate governance after the South Korean government granted Samsung heir Lee Jae-Yong a presidential pardon on August 12, enabling him to return to Samsung’s management. According to industry sources, Lee will take advice regarding corporate governance reform proposed by the Samsung Compliance Committee, an external independent supervisory body set up to monitor the group’s ethics and compliance management. Citing Samsung Compliance Committee Chairman Lee Chan-Hee this January, Samsung must improve corporate governance for its business to take off. The company had sought corporate governance reform since 2013. However, the restructuring was suspended last January when Lee Jae-Yong was sentenced to 30-month prison for bribery and embezzlement.