In April 2019, just a day before Arbor Day, a severe wildfire broke out in different parts of Gangwon Province, Korea. Among the affected areas, Okgye was hit the hardest. The fire destroyed several thousand hectares of the woods. While it took an instant for the fire to spark from a power line, it will take 100 years for the charred forest to return to its original state.
To help in handling this tragic situation, POSCO stepped in and carried out a forest restoration project. POSCO established a fund named ‘Emerald,’ — after the green jewel — with U.S. coal supplier, Xcoal. Under the agreement, POSCO and Xcoal each contributed 50,000 USD, totaling to 100,000 USD. On April 18, the fund was sent to Tree Planet, a social enterprise, to help plant 10,000 trees on 3.3ha of land in Okgye.
For POSCO, this isn’t the first case of fund establishment with suppliers.
In November 2019, POSCO established a fund named ‘Opal,’ with Australian coal supplier Yancoal. The fund was used as a scholarship in mining industry training for Indigenous Australians. The series of funds — all named after jewels — are so-called, ‘GEM’ Funds. In addition to its dictionary meaning of ‘jewel,’ GEM stands for ‘Go the Extra Mile.’ POSCO operates the GEM Fund in the form of a 1:1 matching fund with material suppliers. The company plans to continue establishing these social fund agreements.
Earth Day celebrated its 50th anniversary this year. Following a massive oil spill that polluted the coast of California in 1969, U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson announced the idea for an environmental teach-in on college campuses. The day was chosen for April 22, 1970, which eventually became the first Earth Day.
The unusual clear skies that we encounter these days might not be something we should take for granted. The reason POSCO strives to make our planet an ‘emerald’ green lies here. POSCO Newsroom is set to keep you posted with updates along this journey.