LG Reduces Greenhouse Gases by Over 2M Tons in First Half
Seoul, Korea. - LG Electronics announced that the company has successfully reduced 2.1 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions in the first half of 2009, two million tons through greater energy efficiency and an additional 100,000 tons through improved manufacturing processes. Overall, LG saw a reduction of about seven and five percent in greenhouse gas emissions from the production and operation of its products across both domestic and overseas facilities.
The environmental impact of having reduced emissions by 2.1 million tons is equivalent to planting 700 million new pine trees, large enough to cover an area four times the size of Korea’s capital, Seoul (605 km2).
Earlier this year, LG Electronics committed to a goal of annually reducing 150,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions that is normally created during the production process and 30 million tons from the use of its products by the year 2020. Today’s reduction announcement is the first report card following the announcement of the goal and it shows LG is on track to honor its commitment to environmental sustainability.
Corporate-wide reduction activities including facility improvement, process innovation, production technology advancement, energy-efficiency enhancement and waste reduction have greatly contributed to the drop in emissions that contribute to the greenhouse effect.
From Production to Product: Caring Through the Entire Life Cycle
Since early this year, LG’s manufacturing facility in the Korean city of Pyongtaek, reduced its electricity bill by operating an air-exchange system using the cooler outdoor air to lower the temperature of its interior space. Technology that is capable of recycling waste heat is being introduced to LG’s other production plants. Moreover, the company is making increased use of bore water, decreasing LG’s reliance on the municipal water supply.
By 2012, LG plans to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by its products to a level 15 percent lower than 2007 through enhancing the energy efficiency of its core products. Electricity consumption has been reduced in washing machines thanks to LG’s proprietary Direct Drive electric motor technology. LG’s washing machine received the world’s first CO2 label certification from the Korean Ministry of Environment. Air-conditioning systems utilizing geothermal energy and water-cooling technology have received positive responses since their introduction. Mobile phone chargers that consume very low energy in standby mode are currently under development as well. Each generation of LG’s TVs and monitors are more energy efficiency through innovations such as LED backlight technology and improved circuit board design.
In India, LG has announced high-efficiency refrigerators as the foundation for a clean development mechanism business where U.N. approved carbon credits are awarded to companies that contribute to reducing energy consumption in developing nations.
An effort to reduce greenhouse gases is being applied to all offices within LG Electronics. For example, the R&D Campus in Woomyun-dong has reduced the hours of operation of a fountain in the building forecourt by two hours every day. Also, automatic vending machines have been adjusted to run for 12 hours instead of their normal 24-hour operation and only one of the two elevators in the building is utilized.
LG Electronics’ environmental policy is being applied to the entire life cycle process which includes harvesting raw materials, production, logistics, usage and waste. LG has banned the use of toxic materials and the company has completed a greenhouse gas audit for its domestic production sites and is now working to measure emissions in 32 overseas production facilities. LG Electronics was the first Korean electronics company to receive international certification for its greenhouse gas audit. The company has also received a series of positive evaluations from foreign retail channels such as France’s Fnac for its CO2 management across the entire product life cycle.
LG is kicking-off a faculty education program this September to help build awareness of climate change within the business and to increase voluntary participation in carbon reduction initiatives.
LG’s Chief Technology Officer Dr. Woo Paik has mandated that the company push forward with a plan to develop energy competitiveness as a matter of priority.
“We must not become restricted by pre-existing habits -– we must speed up the development of new energy technologies,” said CTO Paik during a meeting of the LG Eco-Design Committee last month. An energy-efficiency enhancement plan was also presented by the lab unit.
The Eco-Design Committee of corporate environmental experts meets twice a year. The members focus on developing environmentally-friendly products, reducing CO2 emissions and developing eco-friendly packaging, among other initiatives.
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