Samsung was established in 1969 and is one of the world’s largest electronics manufacturers. Its products include home appliances, health and medical equipment, smartphones and tablets, telecommunications network equipment and semiconductors. It has 230 operating hubs worldwide, including its headquarters in the Republic of Korea, manufacturing plants, sales subsidiaries, design centres and R&D facilities.
Samsung is helping reduce the gender digital divide through several initiatives, including training women in programming through its DesArrolladoras programme in Spain. The company leads in supporting accessibility through adopting global standards, incorporating accessibility features in its products, and disclosing the number of its employees with disabilities and the steps it takes to make the workplace accessible for them. The company also solicits feedback from people with disabilities for product design. Additionally, Samsung discloses data on its economic value distribution among stakeholders and calculates its sustainable value creation.
Samsung is a leader in supporting programmes that develop digital skills at all levels and that enable school connectivity. The company demonstrates best practice by administering its programmes through its subsidiaries, often in partnership with local governments and NGOs. It also reports participation metrics for its programmes. The company’s flagship programme Smart School, supports schools in rural areas by providing them with smart devices for digital education. Over 4 million students around the world have benefitted from the programme since 2012.
Samsung has a high-level commitment to cybersecurity and assigns this responsibility to its Chief Information Security Officer. The company also has various activities related to child online safety, such as partnering with organisations involved in the issue, undertaking initiatives to educate parents and children on safe online use, providing parental controls for its products and operating a dedicated website for child online safety.
Samsung commits to open innovation by participating in several standards organisations as well as having open source projects. The company contributes to the tech innovation ecosystem through a venture capital fund and supporting start-ups as well as social enterprises through accelerators and incubators. Furthermore, Samsung aligns its initiatives with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The company demonstrates its support for inclusive, diverse and ethical innovation by disclosing the locations of its research and development (R&D) facilities, the number of its women employees engaged in technical roles, and its commitment to AI ethics principles, which are incorporated into its internal guidelines.
Samsung has an opportunity to contribute to access to digital technologies for vulnerable groups. Additionally, the company should disclose income taxes paid and employment in its significant countries of operations.
While Samsung has a high-level commitment to cybersecurity, it should enhance disclosure on how responsibility for cybersecurity is managed at the senior level in the company. The company should also disclose the number of data breaches it experiences. Additionally, even though it has a range of features for child online safety, it should adopt a high-level policy commitment towards child online protection.
Samsung commits to respecting human rights and the ILO core labour rights. It also has a publicly available policy statement that expects its business relationships to commit to respecting the ILO core labour rights. Furthermore, Samsung identifies, assesses and takes action to address the salient human rights issues in its own operations and in its business relationships, but it does not disclose what its salient human rights issues are. The company also identifies and engages with stakeholders whose human rights have been or may be impacted by its operations, but it does not disclose specific examples of these engagements. Samsung has a grievance mechanism accessible to both workers and external stakeholders to raise human rights concerns and complaints.
Samsung publicly commits to respecting the health and safety of workers, but it does not disclose quantitative health and safety information, such as the rate of high-consequence work-related injuries. The company is not explicit in stating that it does not require workers to work more than the regular and overtime hours. However, it does place this requirement on its business relationships. Samsung describes how it determines a living wage for workers in the regions where it operates, but it does not disclose whether it already pays all workers a living wage. Furthermore, the company does not disclose a target to pay all workers a living wage by a certain date. The company publicly commits to gender equality and women’s empowerment. In relation to workforce diversity, the company provides a breakdown of employees in different employee categories by gender. However, it does not disclose against any other indicators of diversity per employee category, such as age group.
Samsung has a policy prohibiting bribery and corruption, and it includes anti-bribery and anti-corruption clauses in contracts with its business relationships. The company has a global tax strategy, but it does not disclose income tax payments in individual tax jurisdictions. Samsung states that it does not make political contributions. However, it does not disclose its overarching approach to lobbying and political engagement in a publicly available policy document.