(Interview) Smaller, lighter SolarCell remote advances Samsung’s environmental strategy – Samsung Global Newsroom
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 the plastic parts of its products. By 2030, Samsung aims to incorporate 50% recycled materials in its plastic parts and by 2050, aims to use 100% recycled materials for all of its plastic parts.
Samsung’s SolarCell Remote exemplifies Samsung’s commitment to the environment, and as it celebrates its third anniversary, Samsung Newsroom explores how this eco-friendly product has progressed since its initial release in 2021, with the outlook for JongKeun Lee from H/W Platform Lab and HyunJoo Kim from Mecha Solution Lab.
Eliminate the need for disposable batteries
Samsung Electronics developed the SolarCell remote control to combat the environmental impact of disposing of 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 multiple ways to charge their remote.
“The level of carbon emissions from the SolarCell Remote, from production to disposal, is about one-third of that of disposable battery manufacturing.1said JongKeun Lee of H/W Platform Lab. “By eliminating the need for disposable batteries, not only are fewer resources consumed, but carbon emissions are reduced by making fewer batteries over time.”
Another outstanding feature is its low power consumption. The SolarCell remote control has been designed to operate with approximately 10% of the power used by conventional remote controls. “Samsung has made significant progress in radically eliminating unnecessary outings and operations, contributing to great energy savings,” Lee added.
SolarCell remote control recycles more than six tons of waste
Twenty-four percent of the plastics used in the SolarCell remote come from recycled materials. This means that more than six tons of waste is recycled for the annual production of 10 million SolarCell remote controls. This equates to an approximately 18% decrease in carbon emissions compared to production using conventional materials.
It was not a simple undertaking. It takes time and effort to develop and meaningfully apply alternative materials made from recycled waste.
“With growing concerns about ocean litter, we have carefully considered many solutions. We have chosen to use recycled plastics from discarded fishing nets for 20% of the SolarCell 2023 remote mounts,” said HyunJoo Kim of Mecha Solution Lab “Going forward, we aim to promote the use of these resources and use recycled plastics more aggressively.”
“This year we started using recycled plastics from discarded fishing nets. Although expensive and difficult to process, the end result is superior quality materials that contribute to our everyday sustainability mission,” added Kim. “The process is quite complex, from sorting waste to cleaning, eliminating toxic substances and improving the properties of materials.”
In recognition of this product’s eco-friendly design, Time Magazine selected the SolarCell Remote as one of Time Magazine’s “Best Inventions of 2022”.
All of Samsung’s 2023 Lifestyle TVs are equipped with the SolarCell 2023 remote control. consumers to live a more sustainable lifestyle.
Additionally, Samsung has reduced the size of the SolarCell remote by 25% in its latest iteration. This means the remote control uses less plastic while improving the usability of the product.
“As the SolarCell remote has become smaller, manufacturing uses less plastic and it has become an ideal size for consumers’ hands, making it a better product in every way,” explained Lee.
Pursue an eco-conscious strategy with a simplified approach
So what are Samsung’s next steps to improve the durability of the SolarCell remote?
“We continue to move towards light, thinness and small size to limit the use of plastic,” Kim said.
“We are committed to creating a user-friendly remote control that consumes fewer resources and less power,” Lee said. “Samsung’s ultimate goal is to allow users to control products with minimal effort while reducing material and energy usage. It could mean that one day we’ll get rid of the remote control altogether. The SolarCell Remote is a bold step in the direction of everyday sustainability and we can’t wait to show everyone what lies ahead.
The SolarCell Remote’s ambitious journey to contribute to a more environmentally friendly lifestyle has only just begun.
1 Since most TVs are used for seven years and one AA battery for their remotes is replaced once a year, the number of batteries thrown away for a TV will be 14 every seven years. This means that charging and using SolarCell Remote for seven years reduces carbon emissions by a third compared to using AA batteries.
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