Many of the sustainability challenges that we prioritize at Samsung – whether it be realizing a circular economy or optimizing energy efficiency – are enhanced through partnerships and collaborative initiatives with credible, knowledgeable, and innovative brands, environmental organizations, and industry groups. Together with these like-minded eco-friendly allies, we are putting our scale, global presence, and pioneering spirit to work on building a more sustainable and equitable future. As part of our “Partners in Sustainability” series, Samsung’s esteemed partners are sharing their views on how tackling environmental challenges requires unparalleled cooperation.
TitleAssociate Director, Sustainability Team
Years working together10+ years
Partnership focusGrowth of ENERGY STAR market share
1. Best Buy continues to score high marks in sustainability. For instance, the Company has twice ranked #1 on Barron’s list of 100 Most Sustainable Companies and has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for 10 consecutive years. What does sustainability mean to Best Buy?
Sustainability is built into our culture and dedication to our customers, and we are committed to taking action to protect the planet for today and for future generations. We demonstrate this, in part, by working to meaningfully reduce our impact on the environment and helping our customers do the same. As a founding member of Race to Zero and a signatory of the Climate Pledge, we’re proud to be one of America’s most sustainable companies and are committed to doing even more to create a more sustainable world.
We center our work by thinking of it from a circular economy perspective. That means rethinking how we do business and moving to a model that aims to optimize the use of finite resources. At the very highest level, this entails finding ways to reduce the waste in our operations, working to create and market products that are more sustainable, and sourcing our energy from renewable sources.
2. How is the Company achieving its sustainability goals?
We have two overarching sustainability goals at Best Buy: 1) reducing our carbon emissions 75% by 2030 with a goal to be carbon neutral by 2040 and 2) helping our customers reduce their own carbon emissions 20% by 2030 through the products they purchase.
Outside of those goals, the company is committed to finding ways to drive energy efficiency and reduce emissions in all facets of the business. This includes investing in energy efficient equipment and processes in our operations, investing in four utility scale solar fields that help reduce our emissions, and transitioning our Geek Squad vehicles to hybrid vehicles.
Our goal to help customers reduce their emissions by 20% will be achieved by an approach that includes increasing the market share of ENERGY STAR products and working with leading partners like Samsung to bring energy efficient products to market. Additionally, we launched a new product category to help customers live more sustainably and reduce their carbon footprint.
Best Buy, similar to Samsung, is committed to responsible electronic waste (e-waste) recycling to protect the environment and keep tech out of landfills. We continue to operate an e-waste recycling program at our stores that has collected more than two billion pounds of electronics and appliances from customers.
3. How are you realizing those goals in partnership with Samsung?
The foundation of our sustainable products strategy — and our goal to help customers reduce their own carbon emissions 20% by 2030 — is centered on growing the market share of ENERGY STAR products. For years, Best Buy and Samsung have partnered on sustainability initiatives to help connect customers with products and services to help them live more sustainably.
In 2021, Best Buy and Samsung partnered to bring awareness to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) climate programs. Our efforts included supporting the EPA’s 30th anniversary Climate Partnership Programs and launching an Earth Day campaign where customers were awarded with Best Buy gift cards when they purchased Samsung ENERGY STAR appliances.
Since setting our sustainable products goal in 2017, more than 56 million ENERGY STAR products have been purchased at Best Buy, including Samsung products. As a result, by choosing ENERGY STAR products our customers have collectively reduced their carbon emissions by the equivalent of removing 3 million cars off the road for an entire year. ENERGY STAR has been instrumental on our path to help our customers reduce their carbon emissions..
We are excited to continue our partnership with Samsung and help pave a clean energy future, together.
4. Why do you think collaboration is one of the keys to unlocking solutions to the climate crisis?
Quite simply, we know that the climate crisis is too big for any one individual or company to solve on their own. Our impact on the environment reaches communities across the U.S. and collaboration with our leading partners like Samsung is key to unlocking solutions to the climate crisis.
By working together, we can accelerate change and create a more sustainable future for generations to come. Samsung’s work on a number of sustainability fronts to affect real, long-lasting change – including its goals around zero waste, reducing carbon emissions in their operations, and reducing carbon emissions in their products use-phase, and running their US operations entirely on renewable energy – aligns with our goals to create a more sustainable future.
5. Best Buy, just like Samsung, continues to prioritize e-waste recycling. Tell us how you’re making electronics recycling easy for your customers?
We established our recycling program in 2009 and have since recycled more than two billion pounds of electronics and appliances. We want to make recycling easy to do, because keeping those products out of landfills benefits the planet and our communities.
As the nation’s largest retail collector of e-waste, our recycling program is part of our continued commitment to protect the environment and support our customers throughout the lifecycle of their products by keeping old tech out of landfills and giving it a second life.
We make it easy to recycle all kinds of used tech – from cameras and cellphones to robot vacuums and speakers. Regardless of where you bought it, how old it is or who made it, you can bring your tech to any Best Buy store to have it recycled.
6. What are some other ways that you’re helping your customers reduce their carbon footprint?
As a company, we are focused on driving forward the circular economy, which means we keep products in use for as long as possible through repair, trade-ins, and recycling. This is just another way we are supporting our customers throughout the lifecycle of their products and doing our part to protect the environment.
We help customers extend the life of their products by leaning on the skills of our Geek Squad Agents and repair partners. Best Buy repairs more than five million devices every year, keeping electronics in the “use” phase. Most Best Buy stores house a Geek Squad Precinct, where products – from computers to mobile phones to digital cameras – are repaired. Our repair technicians also fix larger items like TVs and appliances in customers’ homes.
And we are proud to partner with Samsung in over 100 Best Buy stores where customers can access authorized repair service for their Galaxy smartphones – from screen repairs to device maintenance to software troubleshooting.
Moreover, the Best Buy Trade-In Program is the core of our “reuse” phase of the product life cycle. In nearly all of our stores, we offer customers a convenient way to get value for products that are still in good, working condition. Depending on the trade-in value, customers will receive a Best Buy gift card that they can use to upgrade to the latest tech. The products from the trade-in program are typically re-sold in secondary markets, bringing a useful second life to products that might otherwise sit idle in someone’s home, get recycled, or end up in a landfill.