Lotte chemical firms aim for carbon neutral growth by 2030

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Lotte chemical firms aim for carbon neutral growth by 2030

Lotte Chemical CEO and President Kim Gy-hyun, center, and company employees announce the ″Green Promise 2030,″ on Tuesday. [LOTTE CHEMICAL]

Lotte Chemical CEO and President Kim Gy-hyun, center, and company employees announce the ″Green Promise 2030,″ on Tuesday. [LOTTE CHEMICAL]

 
Lotte Group’s four chemical subsidiaries are aiming for carbon neutral growth and 6 trillion won ($5.38 billion) in accumulated revenue from ecofriendly products by 2030.
 
On Tuesday, the four companies — Lotte Chemical, Lotte Fine Chemical, Lotte Aluminum and Lotte BP Chemical — announced a long-term initiative to reform their business portfolio in line with strengthening regulations and a change in client requirements.
 
Lotte Chemical, the largest of the four, is one of the top two chemical firms in Korea, alongside LG Chem.
 
Under the initiative dubbed “Green Promise 2030,” the chemical unit will focus on four areas: Expanding sales of ecofriendly products, using recycled material, reducing carbon emissions and improving waste systems to reduce environmental impact.  
 
To meet the 2030 goal, Lotte Group will spend 5.2 trillion won in investments over that period, the company said in a Tuesday statement.
 
“2021 would mark the starting point of environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) management for Lotte’s chemical businesses,” said Kim Gyo-hyun, Lotte Chemical’s CEO and president in a Tuesday statement. “This year our focus will be on establishing sustainable and ecofriendly business strategies and executing core tasks.”
 
Generating 6 trillion won from ecofriendly chemicals would mean a tenfold growth compared to what the four companies make at the moment.
 
To meet higher demand from global customers, Lotte said it will expand the use of post-consumer recycled materials, which are reprocessed plastics collected from household or commercial packaging. The goal is to sell one million tons of recycled material by 2030.
 
The carbon neutral growth mission will first be pursued by Lotte Chemical. The level of carbon emissions will be kept at the 2019 level until 2030, despite an anticipated growth in Lotte’s business.
 
Another environmental issue faced by petrochemical companies is the waste and air pollution caused by its factories. Lotte said it would reduce such waste by 50 percent by the end of the initiative and continue investing in updating old production facilities.
 
Lotte’s Tuesday announcement makes it the latest addition in a string of Korean petrochemical firms to put environmental friendliness at the core of their business. Recently, ESG has been rising as a popular catchphrase among Korean businesses, making frequent appearances in CEO messages and business plans.
 
LG Chem also pledged last year to realize carbon neutral growth by 2050, keeping emissions at the 2019 level. LG was among the first Korean firms to make this promise. Hanwha and Posco, which both have petrochemical companies under their wing, had also announced ecofriendly initiatives to develop technology in ecofriendly plastic and reduce carbon emissions over the past two months.
 
BY SONG KYOUNG-SON   [song.kyoungson@joongang.co.kr]
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