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[CES 2022] SK Innovation rolls up its sleeves to tackle emissions across value chain

SK Innovation Vice Chairman Kim Jun speaks at a strategic meeting held Thursday. (SK Innovation)
SK Innovation Vice Chairman Kim Jun speaks at a strategic meeting held Thursday. (SK Innovation)
SK Innovation, a chemical arm of South Korea‘s third-largest conglomerate SK Group, said Friday its high-ranking officials including Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kim Jun agreed on a course of actions to achieve its net-zero goal before 2050, while at CES 2022 on Thursday morning local time.

Under its Carbon to Green initiative, SK Innovation executives approved plans to tackle indirect emissions that occur in the company’s value chain, often described as Scope 3 emissions by UK-based organization Carbon Trust, which is not limited to emissions from the sources controlled by the company.

This involves a plan for a low-carbon commuting and business travel of its employees by purchasing carbon allowances that grant them permission to emit 12,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas each year. SK Innovation said the company was the first to announce plans for carbon-neutral commuting in Korean industry.

Moreover, SK Innovation executives reviewed its plan for low-carbon strategies by recycling battery metal, plastic and lubricating oils after use, as well as a plan for ecofriendly business for carbon capture and storage.

“Net-zero is our goal for a sustainable future and the eventual destination of ‘Carbon to Green,‘” Kim said. “As a result, we should devote ourselves to Net Zero efforts and push them as hard as we can.”

SK Innovation Vice Chairman Kim Jun (fourth from left) is seen at SK Group‘s exhibition hall Green Forest Pavilion at CES 2022 Thursday. (SK Innovation)
SK Innovation Vice Chairman Kim Jun (fourth from left) is seen at SK Group‘s exhibition hall Green Forest Pavilion at CES 2022 Thursday. (SK Innovation)
This is in line with Carbon to Green, a pledge first unveiled in July to cut direct and indirect carbon emissions entirely before 2050. The company plans to invest 1.5 trillion won ($1.2 billion) to cut 50 percent of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 in petrochemical businesses, and to reduce 75 percent of emissions by 2050 from the whole value chain.

The resolve comes to the fore as SK Innovation, at the world’s largest tech show, unveiled nickel cobalt manganese batteries containing 90 percent nickel -- also known as NCM9 -- that are to be installed in Ford’s flagship electric pickup truck F-150.

Its subsidiaries are also seen gearing up to reduce industrial carbon footprint -- ranging from SK ie technology‘s lithium-ion battery separator, as well as battery arm SK On’s AI-powered battery degradation analysis solutions.

In order to boost its green pledge, SK Innovation said its Vice Chairman Kim will join the boards of its subsidiaries, in addition to a December nomination to become SK On‘s board member. SK Innovation did not elaborate on details about the matter.

By Son Ji-hyoung (consnow@heraldcorp.com)
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