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SK Inc. wins top grade in MSCI ESG ratings

By Lee Seung-ku

Published : Dec. 27, 2022 - 13:23

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SK Group headquarters in Jongno-gu, central Seoul (SK Inc.) SK Group headquarters in Jongno-gu, central Seoul (SK Inc.)

SK Inc., the investment arm of SK Group, said Tuesday it received an AAA rating from the Morgan Stanley Capital International ESG Ratings.

The MSCI ESG Ratings assess 3,077 firms globally and ranks them based on their ability to manage environmental, social and corporate governance risks. It groups the firms into three categories: leader, firms with AAA and AA ratings; average, A, BBB and BB; and laggard, B, CCC.

SK Inc. became one of only two South Korean companies in 2022 to receive the highest rating, which is awarded to only 5 percent of all assessed firms. The company had made the “leader” list in 2021 and 2020 with an AA rating, but this is the first time it obtained AAA.

SK Inc. attributed the latest feat to its extensive ESG efforts throughout investment decisions and policy directions.

The firm said it has incorporated ESG initiatives into its management philosophy and expanded its investment portfolio to include net-zero technologies like hydrogen and small modular nuclear reactors. It is also expanding ESG solution services in its IT business while increasing the use of renewable energy, it added.

The firm has introduced its corporate management strategy, called “Governance Story,” to diversify the areas of expertise among its executives. It has also been buying back 1 percent of its stock as part of a shareholder-friendly policy.

“As an investment company, we have incorporated ESG strategies to our management activities, while also creating an ESG online platform,” said Park Dong-ju, vice president of the portfolio planning office. “We will continue to innovate our business model to focus on ESG and to center around the executive board, so that we can become a model case both domestically and abroad.”