ESG — or environmental, social and corporate governance — is much more than a buzzword at Samsung Electronics, and we believe that having a positive impact on the planet starts with our employees. That’s why we’re highlighting Samsung workers around the world who are leading the way in cultivating a culture of sustainability and social responsibility. We’re breaking down the ins and outs of ESG throughout Samsung and answering your questions on how we’re building a better tomorrow for all.
No matter what country you live in, if something happens to our world, it affects everyone and everything living on Earth. That’s why it’s so important to take care of our planet — we only get one.
At Samsung Electronics, we want to lead by example and create a company culture that is not only dedicated to pushing the boundaries of technology, but also to preserving our planet.
At a time when the climate crisis is top of mind, environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) is especially relevant to Samsung’s sustainability goals. Samsung is dedicated to numerous projects making our world a greener place, such as repurposing discarded fishing nets for use in Galaxy devices.
Samsung Newsroom is kicking off a new series highlighting how Samsung employees worldwide are building a more sustainable future. Jenni Chun’s journey is the first of many to showcase how we’re building a better, brighter world through ESG.
# A Day in the Life of Jenni Chun
Meet Jenni Chun, the Head of Regulatory and Environmental Affairs at Samsung Electronics America (SEA). As part of Samsung America’s Quality Assurance Lab, located half an hour away from SEA’s North American Headquarters in Ridgefield Park, New Jersey, Jenni and her team take pride in activities that help tell Samsung’s sustainability story. So what is a day at Samsung like for Jenni?
“I get that question a lot, and I always tell people that no day ever repeats itself,” said Jenni. “My team and I manage such a wide range of topics, and the priorities may change in a moment, which is part of what makes this job so exciting.”
In her role, Jenni analyzes and connects each of Samsung’s products to different regulations and environmental issues, covering everything from air cleaners and dryers to tablets and packaging regulations. Whether her team is auditing, benchmarking or resolving issues related to standards and certifications, she oversees all environmental activities to make each day at Samsung more eco-conscious. No matter what she’s doing, however, Jenni usually collaborates with others to make her vision of sustainability a reality.
“I work closely with our research and development teams to ideate new projects or ideas that could become the next generation of technology while also ensuring a more sustainable future,” said Jenni. “We collaborate to influence at every level, as well as amplify all of our sustainability efforts to consumers.”
Her department has a wide reach — from working with the U.S. Public Affairs team to ensure that Samsung is well-represented in government and trade association communications, to product and brand teams to ideate how the company can reduce its environmental footprint, to Global CS Center’s work to make a global impact, Jenni works hard every day to see how the planet can benefit from Samsung’s vision for a brighter tomorrow.
# Living the Green Mindset
Whether she’s working for Samsung, volunteering for her community, or at home raising her child, Jenni wants to integrate sustainability into everything she does.
For Jenni, there is so much to learn and improve when looking at other countries’ public awareness and environmental practices. Of course, with a global company like Samsung, it is much easier to make an impact working with others than trying to do it alone.
“I’m grateful that my job can contribute to making an impact at a global scale with a company that genuinely cares for the environment,” said Jenni. “We have support from our leaders to make environmental sustainability a top priority.”
Jenni is someone who wants to bring her whole self to work, values and all. So what’s the best way to implement a green mindset at work? Jenni highlights the importance of leading and educating by example, especially when it comes to environmental sustainability.
“I always try to integrate environmental sustainability into conversations with my team because our colleagues are also our consumers,” said Jenni. “It is important to patiently explain, educate and build awareness.”
# The Gold Standard for Sustainability
When it comes to working at Samsung, Jenni is constantly looking to tell the next sustainability story that reduces the company’s environmental impact. According to Jenni, Samsung is a leader in innovation, not only within the technology of its products, but also in how the company practices sustainability. For instance, Jenni spoke highly of Samsung’s various ESG initiatives, like “Samsung Gives Week of Service,” where she was able to plant pollinator flowers with her son and help support the bees.
“I love that it’s a sustainability project where we’re able to speak to others and get the word out about sustainable topics,” said Jenni. “What better way is there to create ambassadors for environmental sustainability than by doing activities like this with our children?”
Beyond participating in internal company initiatives, Jenni has also been recognized for her award-winning work for the company. For instance, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) annually presents a Sustainability Materials Management (SMM) Award recognizing excellence in e-waste collection throughout the United States. Jenni has led the Samsung team to win this Gold-Tier award for the past eight consecutive years since the beginning, as Samsung collects and recycles an average of 100 million pounds of e-waste per year, an accumulation of over 1.1 billion pounds in the United States.
Over the years, Jenni and her team have also contributed to Samsung earning multiple U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR Emerging Technology Awards. She even worked with the EPA to set new criteria for refrigerators, using advanced adaptive compressors and induction cooktops to make them more energy efficient.
“In the long-term, we are looking for new ways that technology can positively impact our consumers and our planet,” said Jenni. “We wanted to be sure that consumers are benefitting from seamless Samsung technology, lowered costs and minimizing their environmental footprint with more sustainable options.”
# ESG From the Inside Out
For Jenni, sustainability is at the heart of her work at Samsung. So, Samsung Newsroom wanted to know how she spent World Environment Day, a holiday known for encouraging worldwide awareness and action to protect our environment.
For Jenni, she chose to spend time with her family, especially with her son, in the outdoors and appreciate nature up close. During the pandemic, she noticed that many people were spending more in the great outdoors. She, too, wanted to spend time enjoying the environment that her job and her free time focused on defending.
“I took my son to an aquarium, where he not only fell in love with ocean animals, but also learned about environmental issues,” said Jenni. “He discovered that plastic wastes are harmful to marine life, and since then, reducing plastic waste has become a big focus in our household.”
And not to worry — for readers at home, Jenni has her own eco-conscious tips for your everyday life. She recommends that we each change a product or behavior to reduce the use of plastic. This could include avoiding takeout with plastic containers, using reusable grocery bags or switching to hygiene goods made with environmentally friendly packaging.
“It can sometimes be uncomfortable to make a change, but making small, everyday changes can help make a big difference,” said Jenni. “I encourage everyone to make one change today, such as a behavior or product that would reduce your individual environmental footprint.”
In her personal life, Jenni certainly practices what she preaches, living an eco-conscious lifestyle both inside and outside of work. For instance, Jenni does a lot of career mentorship and speaks about sustainability practitioners at Columbia University. As a graduate from the university’s Sustainability Management Program, she has been invited to several career forums to discuss what a sustainability-focused job looks like, especially in the private sector and for large technologies companies, like Samsung.
# Our Planet, Our Future
On this renowned day for environmental action, it is important to remember that a healthy ecosystem can begin at our workplace. Now more than ever, companies must work to improve the quality of our lives, protect our ecosystem and preserve natural resources for future generations. Samsung is doing its part to become a socially responsible place to work by integrating environmental sustainability into every level of the business. We only have one planet Earth, and it’s up to us to care for it.
Jenni Chun is an excellent example of a woman using her passion for educating others on the importance of environmental sustainability to create a greener future for the next generation. From mentoring and providing career advice in her personal time to working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to raise the standard to minimize electronic waste, Jenni is an advocate for positive environmental change.
Learn more about Samsung Electronics’ sustainability initiatives here, and stay tuned for more Samsung employees who are helping to save the planet, one workday at a time.