Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics said on Sunday that it will incorporate plant-based meals into its staff menus as part of efforts to reduce the company’s carbon footprints for tackling climate change.
Samsung will set up a food corner at its headquarters in Gyeonggi province to provide employees with low-carbon meal options, such as rice with mushrooms, and pesto pasta with seasoned vegetables, among other options.
The South Korean tech giant is expected to introduce its low-carbon menus at its headquarters in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province, as early as February. Regional offices will also switch from disposable cutlery to “multi-usable” ones, local media reported
The move is in line with the company’s new environmental strategy to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. Samsung said last year that it will invest 7 trillion won ($5.7 billion) in its environmental projects by 2030.
“The climate crisis is one of the greatest challenges of our time. The consequences of inaction are unimaginable and require the contribution of every one of us, including businesses and governments,” Samsung CEO Han Jong-hee said in a statement on Sept. 15, 2022.
Low-carbon diets have emerged as a lifestyle choice for those eager to greenhouse gas emissions. According to the United Nations, plant-based foods emit fewer greenhouse gasses than animal-based foods.
Based on the U.N. report, beef and lamb generate 70.6 kilograms and 39.7 kilograms of greenhouse gases per kilogram of food, respectively, whereas vegetables produce only 0.7 kilograms.
But the viability of this suggested solution raised questions. From a nutritional perspective, dietary supplements are recommended for those who are on this diet for the long-term to prevent deficiencies and malnutrition. But these supplements will add to overall carbon emissions.
Vegan diets are widely considered to need supplementing with vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids. Meanwhile, plant crops require the addition of manure or fertilizers to be productive, which are again a process that involves additional carbon emissions.
Marina Zhang contributed to this report.