Gap Score: +7.2
  • More than 40,000 solar photovoltaic modules were installed by Hyundai on the rooftops of the Asan plant in Korea; the system is expected to generate 11.5 million KWh of electricity per year, reducing CO2 emissions by 5,600 tons.

  • By recycling more than 134,000 vehicles, Hyundai achieved a 92.5% recycling rate, which also contributed to a CO2 emissions reduction equivalent to 114,000 tons.

  • Hyundai doubled its use of recycled water, increasing from 987,928 tons in 2012 to 1,883,321 tons in 2013.

  • The parallel hybrid system and lithium-polymer battery pack found in Hyundai’s Sonata gasoline hybrid model were the first of their kind and showed both superior performance and high fuel economy. A testament to the success of this technology, the 2013 model, with 40 mpg for highway driving and 36 mpg for city driving, has won numerous awards.

Working Together

Though approximately 650,000 vehicles are registered in Mongolia and many inevitably fall out of use, there is no car recycling center in the country. To address Mongolia’s end-of-life car issues, Hyundai has partnered with the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), the government of the capital city (Ulaanbaatar), and the Mongolian Ministry of Road and Transportation to implement the Ulaanbaatar ELV Recycling Park. The park will be established on a 40-acre lot and recycle 50,000 vehicles per year, which will prevent 1,000 tons of oil waste, 13,000 tons of burnable waste, and 18 tons of air-conditioning refrigerants from polluting the environment. Hyundai has been conducting a series of projects to revive and preserve the environment, including Hyundai Green Zone, which aims to prevent desertification, one of China’s most serious environmental challenges. During the first phase of the project, Hyundai converted 12,340 acres of salt desert in Chakanor, Neimenggu, China, into grassland. Based on the success of that project, the company launched Hyundai Green Zone II, to address desertification in another part of Neimenggu, Zhenglan Qi. Together with EcoPeace Asia, Hyundai plans to create 9,880 acres of grassland populated by local native flora in Zhenglan Qi. In addition to preventing environmental problems, Hyundai will also be lifting the district’s economy by hiring local people for the 5-year project.

The Green Advantage

Hyundai may not be a loud promoter of its eco-friendly activities, but that doesn’t hide its continuous concerns and actions for the environment. Hyundai‘s efforts toward a more sustainable future are displayed in a wide spectrum, alongside and beyond partnerships: the manufacturing process, the products themselves, and its global CSR activities. Despite a strong year in which it became the first brand to start mass-producing FCEV’s (the Tucson ix35 model), Hyundai loses some ground in our ranking. On the performance front, lower disclosure scores compared to its peers caused some decline. Still, the future is looking bright for Hyundai. It’s operational improvements, investment in renewables, and strides in clean mobility innovation in 2014 are truly impressive. Further, the Union of Concerned Scientists acknowledged the brand with the Greenest Automaker award this year; the Chinese government has selected Hyundai as the “Most Socially Responsible Company” for four consecutive years (since 2011); and, in 2013, the company ranked 2nd in Korea’s “Top 10 Corporations that Contributed to the Society & Nation.” Clearly, Hyundai is taking all the right steps and poised to achieve big things as a sustainable brand.


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