The heads of South Korea’s two major conglomerates, Posco and SK Group, attended a rare joint event Tuesday to promote corporate social responsibility, indicating a possible partnership to generate social value for sustainable growth.
The purpose of the event, held at Posco’s head office in Seoul, was to share the steelmaker’s vision of becoming a responsible business entity and to present the CSR projects carried out by affiliates over the past 1 1/2 years.
Posco Chairman Choi Jeong-woo (left) poses with SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won for photo at Posco`s Seoul office on Tuesday. (Posco)
Posco Chairman Choi Jeong-woo said in his welcoming speech that the company has laid a foundation for its new role as a socially responsible player and will expand its CSR projects for sustainable growth.
Since his inauguration in 2017, Choi has led a series of CSR projects under the campaign slogan “With Posco,” which includes strengthening partnerships with small and medium-sized companies to support the digital transformation of their manufacturing facilities, creating a marine forest in cooperation with the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, and establishing a venture platform to support budding enterprises and local communities.
SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won was invited to vive a keynote speech to support Posco’s role in creating social value. He has been an active advocate of a self-driven campaign to pursue happiness among stakeholders and to enhance businesses’ role as socially responsible players.
“Companies should step up efforts to actively resolve social problems,” Chey said. “In the use of new technologies, it is possible to resolve social problems and bring innovation at the same time. To create greater social value, it is important for companies to share technologies and infrastructure and forge partnerships with various stakeholders,” he said.
Hailing the “With Posco” campaign as “a breakthrough strategy” to build its new future, Chey said such work can bring positive change to the society. It will speed up efforts, if two companies join hands in pursuing ways of creating social value and measuring corporate CSR projects.
Using SK’s own methodology for measuring the value of social contribution made by private entities, Chey said Posco’s giga steel has created roughly around 250 billion won ($210 million) of social value. An assessment of CSR projects in numbers can motivate stakeholders and improve the corporate profile in the community, which he called an investment for potential customers. Social responsibility of a company has become a decisive element for its survival as customers, investors and stakeholders look for social value of the products when making choices beyond their price, he said.
The business leaders had met privately in August, raising market expectations that they would forge a partnership in the area of battery manufacturing. The companies later denied that the meeting was for that purpose, saying it was a chance to exchange views on the role of businesses in resolving social problems.
SK is the nation’s third-largest conglomerate in terms of assets while Posco is No. 6.
By Cho Chung-un (firstname.lastname@example.org