GS Group introduces 'chief green officer' role at affiliates

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GS Group introduces 'chief green officer' role at affiliates

GS Group will appoint “chief green officers (CGO)” at its affiliates and hold monthly meetings among them to set the direction for the conglomerate’s ecofriendly businesses.
The company announced Wednesday that it was establishing a CGO committee that would be the top decision making unit when it comes to matters concerning the environment, social contribution and sustainability. This unit will also lead decisions on partnerships and mergers with start-ups in green businesses.
The group's eight main affiliates will have CGOs of their own, including GS Caltex, GS Engineering & Construction and GS Retail, the three largest revenue makers inside the group.
The decision makes GS Group the latest Korean conglomerate to join the rush for ESG management, short for environment, social and governance — following the likes of SK and Hyundai Motor.  
GS was the eighth-largest conglomerate in Korea based on market cap last year.
According to the company, every month the eight CGOs will get together to discuss ongoing issues linked to ESG management. GS Holdings CEO Hong Soon-ky will head the meetings. CEOs from different affiliates will also form an advisory board to the committee and join meetings once every quarter.
Huh Tae-soo

Huh Tae-soo

The idea of making a central committee for green initiatives goes back to last year, when GS Group Chairman Huh Tae-soo started brainstorming ideas to make the business greener with affiliate executives.
According to the company, Huh has since ordered executives to question the environmental sustainability of ongoing businesses and prioritize that value when making investment decisions in new projects.
The committee is largely divided into three segments. The ESG division will focus on putting together opinions to establish ecofriendly policies. The safety, welfare and environment division will oversee practices at production sites and find ways to reduce emissions.
The ecofriendly division will develop opportunities to profit from changing environment regulations. Electric vehicles, hydrogen fuel cells, bio materials and recycling plastic will be among the fields the team will look out for as potential growth engines.

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