Corporate Sustainability in Korea is growing as more and more companies are looking for ways to reduce their energy consumption. They are looking to implement technologies to reduce their energy consumption. The push toward corporate sustainability in Korea creates many opportunities for startups as corporations make sustainability programs to help them go to market. Startups in Korea that focus on sustainability will find it easier than ever to find a corporate partner in Korea. Furthermore, many corporations in Korea have annual sustainability reports detailing what they are doing to fight climate change. This is in response to growing pressure from the world to align their business strategies to meet global emission standards and has more sustainable business operations. 

Sustainability has become a hot trend in South Korea over the past few years. Korean companies are exploring ways to go greener and cleaner through innovative technologies. Below are a few examples of how some of the major corporations in South Korea are looking to incorporate sustainability into their business. 

Samsung Electronics

Gen 17

Samsung has been making significant investments to minimize its global footprint through innovation. They are offering a new “Generation 17” initiative in partnership with UNDP (United Nations Development Program). Therefore, through the initial program, Samsung will provide mentorship, technology support, and networking opportunities for young entrepreneurs and leaders looking to impact sustainability. In addition, Samsung plans to expand its award-winning Galaxy Upcycling program, which converts smartphones into new products, such as medical and home IoT devices. 

Samsung Electronics has announced a plan to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, with the Device eXperience Division set to hit the goal by 2030. Samsung will invest KRW7tn ($5.9bn) in environmental initiatives by 2030, reduce process gases from semiconductor manufacturing, and develop carbon capture and clean air technology. In addition, Samsung has also joined the RE100 initiative and will match the electricity use of all its international markets outside Korea with renewable energy within five years.


Corporate Sustainability in Korea

POSCO is the world’s 5th largest steelmaker. They aim to start producing steel with hydrogen instead of coal to transition into renewable energy sources. The plan is to be carbon neutral by 2050. In addition, POSCO recently signed an MOU with Rio Tinto, a leading global mining group, to jointly explore, develop, and demonstrate technologies to transition to a low-carbon emission steel value chain. Moreover, the partnership will integrate Rio Tinto’s iron ore processing technology and POSCO’s steel-making technology. 

The company has implemented several measures to minimize the adverse environmental impact generated during business and production processes. These measures include using eco-friendly materials, reducing energy consumption, and recycling waste. Additionally, POSCO has established an environmental management committee to review the company’s environmental management activities and performance regularly.

LG Electronics 

LG Electronics got the highest-level rating in the 2020 Marriott Supplier Sustainability Assessment Program (MSAP). This was in recognition of LG’s use of environmentally and socially responsible practices throughout the life cycle of all product lines. Therefore, they have focused heavily on product sustainability, especially for hotel TVs and displays. 

LG Electronics is committed to providing electronic products that help reduce environmental impacts throughout its lifecycle. To achieve this goal, LG Electronics has set a strategy to develop products that reduce environmental impacts throughout the life cycle of the products. The company’s Sustainability Report presents specific directions in the environmental, social, and corporate governance categories.

Hyundai Heavy Industries


Hyundai Heavy Industries is the world’s largest shipbuilder. They plan to invest nearly $1 billion from 2021 to 2025 to create eco-friendly fuel and vessel technology. Furthermore, Hyundai Heavy Industries established environmental, social, and governance (ESG) committees under its five affiliates to develop eco-friendly technologies. Therefore, the committees aim to support environmental protection, social justice, and ethical management practices. They have sold over $260 million of ESG bonds to help build eco-friendly ships. 

Hyundai Motor Group 


Hyundai Motor Group plans to move from internal combustion engine cars to EV cars by the end of 2040. The first step will be to sell 1 million EVs across Hyundai Motor, Dia, and Genesis models by 2025. Therefore, this will mean Hyundai will have a 10% global share in the EV market. In addition, Hyundai Motorsport will develop a brand-new hybrid challenger based on the Hyundai i20 N road car as a sign of their commitment to the FIA World Rally Championship to make motorsport more sustainable. 

SK Innovation Co. 

SK 2

SK Innovation Co. is an oil refining and battery-making subsidiary of SK Group. They will look to move from their petrochemical business to EV batteries moving forward. The aim is for SK Innovation to become the world’s third-largest producer of EV batteries in terms of monthly sales by the end of 2023. In addition, the company is expanding its battery production base in the US, South Korea, and even Hungary. They plan to invest over $1 billion in a third battery factory in Hungary. Therefore, this will allow SK Innovation to gain access to the European market. 

Corporate sustainability in Korea is becoming more critical for all companies and industries. Sustainability will be the business approach to create long-term value for the company. Therefore, as the expectations of corporate responsibility increase in Korea, corporations will continue to commit to sustainability. It will be a significant challenge that goes beyond individual companies. Forward-thinking sustainability policies are the key, and it is great to see the leading corporations in Korea paving the way.


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