Samsung Electronics said on Monday it would invest 5.4 trillion won ($4.3 billion) in green research and development and facilities to make the world's largest memory chip maker a leading eco-friendly company by 2013.
Of the total, 3.1 trillion won will be spent to develop products which cause less damage to the environment, and the remainder on energy-saving technologies and the environmental improvement of manufacturing facilities, the company said in a statement.
Samsung Electronics did not detail how it would finance the initiatives but had around 5.3 trillion won in cash and cash equivalent at end-March.
This eco-management initiative will encompass all of our global operations, supply chain, and the complete lifecycle of Samsung products, and by achieving these goals we aim to lead the way in tackling the environmental problems that are facing our planet, Samsung Electronics' vice chairman and CEO Yoon-woo Lee said.
Samsung's plan includes reducing greenhouse gas emissions from manufacturing facilities by 50 percent, cutting total indirect greenhouse gas emissions from all products by 84 million tons through 2013, and ensuring all of its products are more environmentally friendly by increasing energy efficiency through measures such as cutting standby power consumption.
Samsung's chip and LCD businesses, major sources of greenhouse gas emissions, will invest significant sums to reduce pollution, it said.
Shares in Samsung rose 3 percent on Monday, in line with a 2.7 percent rise in the KOSPI index
South Korea has made a major push on environmentally friendly investment in recent weeks.
Earlier this month, the South Korean government said it would invest 107 trillion won, or 2 percent of its annual GDP, in environment-related industries over the next five years. It also separately said that it aimed to raise 2 trillion won for so-called green industries from the private sector.
HSBC estimates that of Asian government's stimulus packages against the recent credit crunch, spending on green-related investments will account for 20 percent, or $272 billion. That means more than double the amount earmarked for green projects in the Americas and five times bigger than Europe's.
A survey last week showed over 80 percent of 105 South Korean CEOs at major companies plan to invest in environmental technologies and see them as a major business in the long-term.
By 2020, Samsung's competitor LG Electronics Inc is also aiming to lower its greenhouse gas emission from the production process by 150,000 tons compared with its 2008 emission levels, and it will cut the gas emission caused by using LG Electronics' products down by 30 million tons per year.
Hyundai Motor Co, South Korea's top carmaker and the world's No.5 carmaker along with affiliate Kia Motors Corp, in early July launched its first hybrid car in the domestic market to satisfy a growing appetite for fuel-saving vehicles and to improve its technology image.
(Editing by Lincoln Feast)