Greenpeace activists call out Samsung’s sponsorship of Winter Olympics as hypocrisy

Press release - 30 January, 2018
Berlin, 30 January 2018 - Greenpeace activists in Berlin and Taipei called out Samsung for sponsoring this year’s Winter Olympic Games in South Korea, which are touted to be powered by 100% renewable energy. Renewables account for only 1% of Samsung Electronics’ total energy consumption.

In Berlin, Greenpeace Germany activists unfurled a banner of 40 square metres from the top of the construction site of Berlin City Castle. In Taipei, two banners ranging from 40 to 85 square metres were dropped from the top of Samsung’s stores by Greenpeace East Asia activists, with the messages “Go 100% RE right now #DoBiggerThings Now” and “Stop Fuelling Climate Change”. 

“Samsung needs to take action now and publicly commit to 100% renewables. Without meaningful and urgent action from industry leaders on climate change, we might be facing a future where there is no Winter Olympics left to sponsor,” said Jude Lee, Global Senior Campaigner at Greenpeace East Asia.

The actions come after months of campaigning on Samsung and less than 2 weeks away from the Winter Olympic Games in South Korea, the first in history to set a goal of being 100% renewably powered. Despite being one of the main sponsors, Samsung heavily relies on fossil fuels - renewables account for 1% of its total energy consumption, which amounted to 16,000GWh in 2016.

“Samsung’s climate-warming pollution has increased 45% since the last Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. If this growth remains unchecked, Samsung’s emissions could increase an additional 60% by the next Winter Olympics in 2022,” said Lee.

According to research led by Daniel Scott, a geography professor at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, climate change will cause many previous Winter Games locations to be too warm to host the Games again by 2050.

“The climate in many traditional winter sports regions isn’t what it used to be, and fewer and fewer places will be able to host the Olympic Winter Games as global warming accelerates,” said Prof. Scott.

Samsung has the largest smartphone market share globally and is one of the main suppliers of key components to other major tech brands, with 38 production sites and more than 2,000 suppliers across the world.

Samsung Electronics should commit to 100% renewable energy, and follow the steps of other major IT brands like Apple which have already committed to renewables. Greenpeace is calling on Samsung Electronics to urgently set a clear renewable energy goal for its own operations as well as its supply chain.



[1] Greenpeace has launched a global petition (available here) asking Samsung to commit to 100% RE.

[2] Samsung’s GHG emissions for its own operations (scope 1 & 2) have increased from 9,290,000 tons CO2e in 2014 to 13,416,000 tons CO2e in 2017 (Samsung 2017 Forecast), representing a compound annual growth (CAGR) rate of 9.77%.  Assuming this same rate of growth continued, Samsung’s GHG emissions would increase to 21,381,657 CO2e by 2022,the year of the next Winter Olympiad in Beijing, nearly an additional increase of 60% from 2017 forecast levels.

[3] Details on Samsung’s performance on renewable energy can be found in Greenpeace USA’s latest Guide to Greener Electronics, available here.

[4] ‘Olympic Games Impact(OGI) Study for the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games’ report can be found here.

[5] Photo and video collection here

Media contacts:

Maria Elena De Matteo, Global Communications Strategist, Greenpeace East Asia, +39-3281384774,

Greenpeace International Press Desk, +31 (0)20 718 2470 (available 24 hours),