Lotte chair highlights importance of ESG initiatives
Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin highlighted the importance of environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives during his visit to a chemical plant in Ulsan.
It was Shin’s first official management move since he returned to Korea from Japan last month.
On his first official visit to the Lotte Fine Chemical plant, Shin examined production facilities while being accompanied by Kim Gyo-hyun, head of the Lotte Group Chemical Business Unit, and Lotte Fine Chemical CEO Jung Kyung-moon.
Lotte Fine Chemical operates 10 plants in Ulsan on 1,260,000 square meters (311 acres) of land. A total of 37 products are produced there.
They include epichlorohydrin (ECH), which is mainly used as the raw material for epoxy resin widely used in paint and construction materials, and mecellose, which functions as a thickening agent or lubricant. Ninety percent of the company’s products are produced at its plants in Ulsan.
“Amid the uncertainties in management environment, including Covid-19 and climate change, [Lotte’s] competitiveness on ESG needs to be strengthened to achieve sustainable growth,” said Shin during the visit. He highlighted the importance of investing in eco-friendly chemical materials, according to Lotte.
The company’s on-year net profit halved to 24.14 billion won ($21.6 million) in the third quarter, while its sales declined 2.5 percent during the same period to 316.75 billion won.
Lotte Fine Chemical has a number of plans to expand its business. The company is currently in the process of investing 180 billion won in cellulose, which is an organic compound and therefore more environmentally friendly. It also plans to invest 115 billion won to build an additional mecellose factory in the first half of next year.
Lotte Fine Chemical, 31.13 percent owned by Lotte Chemical, grew in size through aggressive takeovers. It acquired Samsung Group's chemical units for 3 trillion won in 2016.
BY JIN MIN-JI [firstname.lastname@example.org]