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Posco to increase social contributions, strengthen ESG drive

ark Joo-nam, an ex-Marine who received a robotic prosthetic leg from the Posco 1% Foundation, undergoes rehabilitation training. (Posco)
ark Joo-nam, an ex-Marine who received a robotic prosthetic leg from the Posco 1% Foundation, undergoes rehabilitation training. (Posco)

Posco has pledged to increase its social contributions while embracing the emerging trend of environmental, social and corporate governance, or ESG, management around the globe, the company said Thursday.

South Korea’s leading steelmaker in 2018 launched its management initiative called “corporate citizenship” and pledged to expand its support for the betterment of society.

Celebrating the fourth year since the company started its support in a wide range of sectors, Posco held the Corporate Citizenship Advisory Council on April 16 to discuss the company’s long-term strategy, which includes various programs to support local citizens and those in need.

Posco said the company would strive to ramp up corporate value, while pursuing the Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Citizenship Management Standards, the company’s ESG guideline.

It also announced a focus on campaigns that address environmental issues here this year.

While taking ESG initiatives, the Posco 1% Foundation would continue to make social contributions in diverse sectors to support people with disabilities, from multicultural families, local artists in need and future generations, Posco said.

The Posco 1% Foundation is a nonprofit organization established in 2013. The foundation is operated by donations from employees in the form of 1 percent of their monthly income.

Posco said the foundation would continue its support for people who rendered distinguished services to the country.

Last year, Posco signed a memorandum of understanding with the Korean Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs to help people of distinguished service to the state. Posco then delivered high-end prosthetic devices to 26 people.

This year, it would again work to provide prosthetic devices to people who received recognition for their service to the country, it said.

Posco added that the Korean Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs would accept applications for the program until May 14.

Since 2019, the Posco 1% Foundation has been also funding the “Wings of Hope” program to support people with disabilities in Pohang, North Gyeongsang Province, and Gwangyang, South Jeolla Province.

The program has been providing customized support devices and sports equipment for impaired athletes. Over the past two years, the company has helped a total of 851 people with disabilities.

For people with disabilities, Posco said the company is also planning on remodeling public facilities in both Pohang and Gwangyang.

The foundation has also been marketing video works produced by disabled artists, Posco added. The videos created by the disabled artists have secured around 7.1 million views on the company’s YouTube channel, the company said.

The company said a total of 24 video works produced by disabled artists would be introduced on the company’s YouTube channel between May and October.

The Posco 1% Foundation is also operating a wide range of educational programs for school-age children.

The foundation began an art program in collaboration with the Korea Mecenat Association in 2019. The art program provides opportunities for local children to experience diverse cultural activities including dance, literature, visual art and music. In 2020, a total of 1,072 children from 79 organizations participated in the program.

Last year, the foundation also launched the “Science Beyond Imagination” program to nurture interest in science among children in Pohang and Gwangyang. A total of 1,640 students from 10 schools joined the programs, according to Posco.

Posco also pledged to expand the “Do Dream” program, which is designed to give financial support to children who are soon to leave the welfare facilities where they have been living. In 2020, 35 children benefited from this program, Posco said.

In addition, the foundation is operating a project to support children from multicultural families. The project offers financial support to students in need, as well as one-on-one mentoring and job consulting services, in a bid to encourage students from multicultural families to pursue careers in South Korea. In 2020, 115 students from culturally diverse backgrounds joined this program, Posco said.

On the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, Posco’s employees have been making online donations as well. Some 26,000 employees at Posco have also participated in the company’s online donation program, donating 840 million won ($755,000) to date.

By Shim Woo-hyun (ws@heraldcorp.com)
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