The Korea Herald


Yuhan-Kimberly’s reforestation campaign marks 40th year

By Kim Jun-hong

Published : May 13, 2024 - 15:44

    • Link copied

A couple who participated in Yuhan-Kimberly’s tree-planting event in 2007 recently joined a forest restoration event in the East Sea with their two children. (Yuhan-Kimberly) A couple who participated in Yuhan-Kimberly’s tree-planting event in 2007 recently joined a forest restoration event in the East Sea with their two children. (Yuhan-Kimberly)

Yuhan-Kimberly announced Monday that its long-standing forest conservation campaign "Keep Korea Green" has reached its 40th anniversary this year.

Originating in 1984, the campaign has evolved into a corporate social responsibility model rooted in cooperative governance, driving both societal and corporate development. Marking the campaign's 40th anniversary, Yuhan-Kimberly announced its achievements so far.

Through the campaign, Yuhan-Kimberly has planted over 57 million trees across approximately 16,500 hectares of land domestically and internationally.

Moreover, during Korea's IMF financial crisis in 1997, the company, in collaboration with experts and civil society, led a national movement aimed at alleviating unemployment through afforestation projects. This resulted in the creation of approximately 170,000 jobs.

The Keep Korea Green campaign was brought about by Korean industrialization in the late 1970s when pollution emerged as a social issue. Such a wave triggered Yuhan-Kimberly to propose long-term, sustainable social contribution strategies. The fact that forests act as the foundation of the ecosystem influenced the campaign's decision to propel forest conservation.

Experts attribute the campaign's long-term success to its clear purpose, authenticity and consistent implementation. The campaign's advancement and sustained progress have been fueled by continuous action and governance built upon collaboration across various sectors.

Company officials regard the campaign as a heritage of Korean corporations’ social contribution. "The Keep Korea Green campaign transcended the boundary of corporates and became a driving force for social change and a valuable societal asset," explained a Yuhan-Kimberly official.

Yuhan-Kimberly's endeavors also influenced corporate culture and business. The philosophy of the Keep Korea Green campaign, which highlights the shared values of stakeholders and local communities, raised awareness of shared values that companies are expected to follow, such as social responsibility and sustainable management.

Various actions and campaigns followed, including the Green Action Alliance, aimed at building a sustainable industrial ecosystem, and the provision of free Huggies ultra-small diapers and masks for premature babies.

These efforts have notably enhanced corporate trust and consumer preferences. According to a survey conducted by the global research panel Embrain last year on behalf of Yuhan-Kimberly, 77 percent of respondents were aware of the Keep Korea Green campaign. Also, awareness of Yuhan-Kimberly's involvement increased individual brand preference by an average of 27 percent during purchase decisions.

Meanwhile, Yuhan-Kimberly aims to achieve 95 percent of its revenue from sustainable products by 2030. The company will also keep focusing on researching and creating new forest models demanded by the times. Through projects such as the creation of honeybee forests and restoration after forest fires, the company aims to raise awareness and highlight the value of forests as biodiversity hotspots.

"As a corporate citizen, we will keep committed to overcoming the climate crisis with our humble yet significant efforts," said Chin Jea-seung, CEO of Yuhan-Kimberly.