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Sk earth day 2021 sustainability moves forefront

In 1972, a couple of years after the first Earth Day was celebrated in the U.S., former SK Chairman Jong-hyon Chey embarked on a simple campaign – to plant trees across South Korea as a commitment to bettering the environment where his businesses operated.

For almost 50 years, SK’s reforestation efforts have continued, leading to more than 4 million trees planted. Since then, the sustainability movement has grown well beyond a single day of activism. Sustainability shapes the products we buy, the cities where we live and the industries in which we work.

Turning Commitment Into Action

Across more than 100 independent operating companies, SK is challenging each business to ensure sustainability is front and center. Whether it’s advanced materials, life sciences or energy, SK’s businesses are held accountable to having a positive impact on society.

This commitment to sustainability is why – across the U.S. – our companies have taken the following actions to lead the transition to a green economy:

  • SK hynix, the world’s second-largest maker of memory chips, has pledged to being carbon neutral by 2030, cutting global CO2 emissions by an estimated 13 million tons.
  • SK Inc. and SK E&S closed a $1.6 billion investment and strategic partnership with Plug Power Inc., a leading provider of hydrogen fuel cell and fueling solutions enabling e-mobility to advance hydrogen energy solutions globally.
  • SK Innovation is building a global network of EV battery production facilities and investing in green energy and materials capabilities.
  • SK Innovation and SK Energy joined a leading research foundation to collaborate on the study of carbon capture technology.
  • SKC Inc. continues to develop environmentally friendly film materials such as Ecolabel, the world’s first shrink-wrapped label that could be recycled in the same stream as PET bottles.
  • SK Global Chemical signed an MOU with Brightmark to reduce landfill waste by using technology that turn plastics back into oil to create fuel, lubricants and new plastic products.
  • SK Siltron is developing and producing a new material for power semiconductor components that can make electric vehicles and energy grids more efficient.

These actions are only the beginning of SK’s journey to completely transform its businesses and contribute to a sustainable future.

Joining Others to Find Global Solutions

SK companies also have moved beyond their own operations to help find global solutions to environmental issues. SK Group is a founding member of the Value Balancing Alliance, a group of companies working on globally accepted standards by which social value can be quantified, measured and compared.

Sk earth day 2021 executives facility model
SK Group Chairman Tae-won Chey (far right) explains plans of a new liquefied hydrogen plant in South Korea. SK plans to build the world’s largest clean hydrogen production facility as part of at $16.5 billion investment in hydrogen energy infrastructure.

In 2020, SK Group companies became the first South Korean businesses to join the Climate Group’s RE100, a group of global companies committed to moving toward 100% renewable energy, and in 2021, SK Innovation and SK Energy joined a leading research foundation to collaborate on the study of carbon capture technology.

In commemoration of Earth Day 2021, we join with others around the world in celebrating how far the understanding and emphasis on sustainability has come, while recognizing our efforts today are not enough. It’s a core mandate that will guide our future and should live at the center of every industry and businesses’ growth.

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