RE:GEN, Reply to Every Generation’s Future
Environment, social and governance(ESG) management is now an essential part of corporate activities that many corporations take seriously as ESG has emerged as one of the major concerns among consumers. As ESG management is becoming increasingly important, some corporations have attempted to take advantage of consumers’ interests in ESG issues, instead of engaging in bona fide ESG activities, which is known as “green washing”. In reality, it is not easy for companies to think and act in a way that benefits the environment, and to link outcomes of their business activities to the environment. It is never an easy task for corporations to consistently invest in preserving the environment, conduct R&D, implement social contribution activities, and manage ethics fairly and transparently, but the consensus is that ESG is not an option. If corporations opt to race on the one-track path of simply profit seeking, it would be much easier for them. But what is the impact on our future? Although it takes more effort and costs more, we all should protect the environment and consider social contribution because we need to ensure a sustainable future for us today and for our future generations.
RE:GEN, Reply to Every Generation’s Future
Hyosung is working to build a sustainable future for all generations and help them live a happy life although it takes more time and effort. Hyosung does not relegate ESG to a marketing tool strategy, taking ESG more seriously than that. Hyosung does its part in preparing for the future and solving environmental challenges with its technology and commitment to the future generations. Specifically, it has rolled out a plan to contribute to forming a circular economy via 5 ESG themes (recycling and upcycling, carbon neutrality, new and renewable energy and smart reduction) in all of its business areas to promote sustainable ESG management. Some of the core eco-friendly circular economy themed technologies (recycle, upcycle) at Hyosung are aimed at building an ecosystem through tangible technology, products and manufacturing process. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Hyosung Heavy Industries has introduced an energy storage system (ESS), a key technology of new renewable energy, which allows users to save electricity for later use, and replaced materials used in insulators of power apparatuses, such as transformers and gas insulated switchgears, with eco-friendly materials. Furthermore, Hyosung has plans to expand the use of hydrogen energy, which includes construction of liquefied hydrogen plants and hydrogen stations. With the application of TANSOME®, hydrogen-fueled vehicles can be made lightweight, accelerating the arrival of a hydrogen society. Hyosung’s eco-friendly products including polyketone, a type of eco-friendly engineering plastic, and regen, eco-friendly yarn made of recycled waste, contribute to creating a virtuous cycle of resources and achieving carbon neutrality by reducing CO2 emissions. With its technology, it envisions the coexistence of life and technology while preserving nature. RE:GEN, which means “Reply to Every Generation’s Future” embodies the corporate vision that its technology can benefit all generations of the future.
Theme#1, Circular Economy(Recycle, Upcycle), Progress in Creating a Sustainable Future for the Next Generation
Hyosung’s first step toward creating a sustainable future for the next generation is a circular economy in which waste is recycled into high-value added products. In 2007 when people were not as interested in environmental issues as they are now, Hyosung developed the world’s first technology to extract regen Nylon yarn from waste fishing nets which posed a serious threat to the marine ecosystem. In 2008, it developed and produced regen Polyester yarn made from recycled plastic bottles. Given that abandoned fishing nets and ropes floating in the sea are one of the major causes of the destruction of marine ecosystem, discarded fishing nets were transformed into regen Ocean Nylon with value creation, rather than being burned. It plans to expand its depolymerization facility to steadily increase the production and supply of the nylon. Plastics do pose a threat to humans and all living creatures on Earth, but when it meets Hyosung’s technology, it can be reborn as regen Polyester. Eco-friendly fiber regen Polyester made of used plastics has multiple features too.
Hyosung is working with various corporations and organizations to promote upcycling of resources. ‘KANGHYUK’, a fashion brand that has recently garnered publicity produces fashion items with used airbags. Learning that KANGHYUK has difficulty obtaining used airbags, Hyosung Advanced Materials offered the brand the fabric used to make airbags, which is not suitable for sale due to size and other reasons. Airbags that otherwise would have been thrown away without being used or sold have found a new use with KANGHYUK, a trendy and upcoming fashion brand that cares about building a sustainable future, and been reborn into eco-friendly ski suit-style jackets and pants. Well-known upcycling brand ‘CUECLYP’ and ‘Preview In Seoul’ made banners with regen Polyester. Then, used banners were made into phone cases, string corner wallets and pouches, while the regen yarn was used to make umbrellas, wallets, pouches and mini bags.
Hyosung TNC focused on value creation from circulating resources that would otherwise be thrown away by transforming used plastic and fishing nets into regen yarn and recycling useless airbags into highfashion accessory. . Saving limited resources of the planet and not generating waste is essential for preserving the environment. But reducing and transforming waste into new resources is equally important.
Theme#2, Carbon Neutrality that Reverses Climate Change
We often hear that climate change is largely attributed to carbon emissions. Carbon neutrality that is globally practiced to keep the earth’s average temperatures from rising refers to a state in which greenhouse gas emissions, a major cause of global warming, and greenhouse gas absorption are in equilibrium. Hyosung works to reduce carbon emissions through the entire production process including development of ingredients, production of materials, and transportation.
Recycling waste plastic into yarn helps create a virtuous cycle of resources and reduce carbon emissions. Hyosung TNC has developed regen Polyester that is made from useful ingredients extracted from used plastic bottles and regen Nylon, recycled nylon made of yarn that is discarded in the process of producing nylon yarn. Hyosung Advanced Materials’ R&D efforts focus on developing lightweight materials and high-strength products in a bid to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy use from mobility including vehicles, and successfully developed TANSOME®, an ultra-lightweight, high-strength material that is four times lighter and 10 times stronger than iron, contributing to making vehicles strong and lightweight. The company also developed lyocell tirecords made of cellulose extracted from wood, which reduces harmful emissions of substances including carbon disulfide and hydrogen sulfide that are generated in the manufacturing process. Use of the new material can help reduce air and water pollution that occurs in the process of disposing these harmful materials.
Power, generation and construction divisions of Hyosung Heavy Industries have been making diverse efforts in different areas to contribute to reducing carbon emissions caused by climate change. To this end, it uses ESS that allows users to store electricity when power demand is low, so that it can be used later when necessary, and high early strength concrete to reduce water use. In addition, it employs eco-friendly construction techniques that help decrease emissions of air pollutants in winter. Hyosung Chemical developed polyketone, the world’s first eco-friendly engineering plastic, based on its self-initiated technology using carbon monoxide, a major air pollutant as its main ingredient, and has a relatively lower global warming potential than other types of engineering plastic. Polyketone is used to create various eco-friendly products and technology, thereby reducing negative impacts of its production activities on the environment. Through all these efforts, Hyosung is committed in earnest to fulfilling its corporate social responsibility with positive actions.
Theme#3, Nature-Derived Energy Makes Our Life Clean.
How can we produce energy we need and still preserve nature? We can do so by making new renewable energy with energy sources that are naturally available to us. Hyosung’s attention has turned to hydrogen, the first element that was created in the universe. We can use hydrogen to create energy as it can be easily converted into water. Using energy made from natural sources for materials, technology, transportation and supply systems is how Hyosung preserves the Earth and cares about future generations. Hyosung contributes to building a sustainable and clean future with its technology and endeavors to tap into hydrogen, solar energy and wind energy bestowed in nature.
Theme# 4, Smart reduction: use energy smartly
Paper is eco-friendly and biodegradable, doing nature no harm. However, we have to cut down trees and destroy the forest to make paper. Is this really eco-friendly? Although paper itself is biodegradable, reckless use of paper can cause serious damage to the environment and eventually make the planet sick. Hyosung is actively involved in reducing the use of paper at work to protect forests. Hyosung is working to create a paperless office and work environment with minimum waste. Furthermore, Hyosung has presented digital desk technology that allows users to get their job done in a contactless way and without using paper in the financial sector, thereby accelerating office digitalization. Using less paper translates into preserving forests and nature.
Just like we cannot preserve nature when we cut down trees to make paper which is a pseudo eco-friendly resource, there are some drawbacks to using nature-derived energy sources including hydrogen, solar and wind energy. Although we produce energy from these sources, wasting energy is detrimental to the environment. So we need technology that can help us use energy more efficiently without keeping the networks waiting longer, which we use every day like the air we breathe. In this sense, Hyosung implements STATCOM and ESS technology to raise energy efficiency by ensuring that hydrogen, solar and wind energy are not wasted when the networks are not in use.
Our future will be better than the present with Hyosung’s technology to reduce paper use and standby energy, designs to ensure smart use of energy, and smart technology to implement the designs.
We can make the planet healthier by thinking ahead into the future rather than focusing on our needs today to preserve nature and save resources by making recycling part of our daily life and taking actions to protect the environment. We can make the planet more beautiful, and slow the pace of climate change if we reduce waste and recycle resources, create and implement designs that can conserve energy for efficient use, use energy that Mother Nature endows, and work together to reduce carbon emissions. Hyosung hopes everyone living today and all future generations dream of a sustainable future and enjoy their life on a healthy and clean planet, which we will help regain its gleaming luster by engaging in many ESG management activities. The healthy planet for future generations should be conceived by us today. A promise to all future generations! The ESG brand of Hyosung Group RE:GEN will turn our promise into reality.