Korean Firms Prioritise Green Initiatives for Survival
South Korean trading companies are taking significant strides in bolstering their green strategies, shifting away from traditional trading practices and placing a stronger emphasis on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives, including carbon neutrality.
Leading the charge is the trading division of Samsung C&T Corp. In a groundbreaking move, Samsung C&T became the first Korean company in the industry to declare itself coal-free in 2020. Since then, it has progressively phased out coal trading operations, redirecting its focus towards solar power, hydrogen, and secondary battery material recycling. In September of the same year, Samsung C&T established Samsung C&T Renewable Energy Australia and ventured into the solar power sector in full force.
POSCO International Corp. has also taken significant steps towards becoming a comprehensive eco-friendly business entity, recently merging with POSCO Energy Co. The company has been actively involved in creating a liquefied natural gas (LNG) value chain and operating a domestic wind power business.
POSCO International aims to identify new offshore wind power projects by 2027 and expand its carbon capture and storage (CCS) operations in collaboration with gas fields. Additionally, it has plans to operate the world's first gigawatt (GW) commercial hydrogen-fired power plant.
LX International Corp., traditionally engaged in the coal business, is now shifting its focus towards eco-friendly endeavours such as supplying lithium and nickel for electric vehicle (EV) batteries.
Hyundai Corp. has also joined the movement towards sustainability by announcing the operation of Unit 6 in its Japanese solar farm in March. The company entered the Japanese solar market in 2019 and currently manages six solar farm units in Korea as well.
These companies are increasing their investments in eco-friendly businesses due to the limitations of their conventional trading operations. By directly entering the global market, Korean firms can reduce their reliance on traditional trading partners, leading to greater autonomy and flexibility in pursuing sustainable growth.
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Source: Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea