l POSCO joins in with the Korean government’s 2050 Carbon Neutrality Declaration
l POSCO to strengthen the steel industry with ‘Green Steel’ that adopts green hydrogen and renewable energy
l POSCO Group to reject new investments related to coal power generation and accelerate Corporate Citizenship management by publishing a climate action report
POSCO has vowed to become “Carbon Neutral” by 2050. As of recent, climate change has emerged as the greatest challenge for humanity, and POSCO’s commitment to leading carbon neutrality is an especially meaningful one, considering the nature of the steel industry where the emission of CO2 is inevitable. It is the first time for an Asian steelmaker with large-scale blast furnace operating systems (among Korea, China, and Japan) to officially declare a carbon-neutral plan.
POSCO plans to utilize carbon risk as an opportunity, overcoming its inevitable need for CO2 emission. Through innovative technologies, such as CCUS(Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage), and hydrogen-based steelmaking, POSCO aims to equip itself with ‘low carbon competitiveness’ which enables providing ‘green steel’.
As being the representative manufacturer of South Korea, POSCO’s ambition to be carbon neutral demonstrates its determination to play a leading role in line with the Korean government’s policy of achieving “2050 carbon neutrality” and implementing the “Green New Deal”.
In addition to this, POSCO has been making its climate-related data available to the public. Following its support for the TCFD (Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures) for the first time in the domestic manufacturing industry in March, POSCO issued “POSCO’s Dialogue for Climate Action,” which includes the TCFD’s recommendations, along with its declaration of carbon neutrality. The report discusses POSCO’s plan to reduce CO2 emissions by 20% in the short-term (by 2030) and 50% in the mid-term (by 2040) with a target to attain net zero emissions by 2050. An analysis of climate scenarios highlighted in the TCFD recommendations was also included in this issue.
The report also introduces various low-carbon solutions that are under development to reduce carbon emissions and mentions low-carbon technologies that are to be phased in over the years. The entire process consists of three phases. The first phase aims to increase energy efficiency and replace the current fuel and raw materials with economical low-carbon ones. The second phase targets to maximize the use of scraps along with applying CCUS technology. In the third phase, the goal is to develop a hydrogen reduction steelmaking technology based on the existing FINEX process and ultimately come up with a carbon neutral steelmaking process based on green hydrogen and renewable energy.
In POSCO’s Dialogue for Climate Action, POSCO CEO Jeong-Woo Choi wrote, “Tackling climate change is a critical agenda in achieving sustainable development for a better future. We acknowledge that it is not a matter of the future but an issue that requires immediate action. In the same context, we believe that business leaders, including POSCO, should play a key role in finding a way to build a low carbon society.” He also added, “On the journey to achieving carbon neutrality, POSCO will face numerous challenges and cannot do it alone. Therefore, we must continually reach out to and partner with various stakeholders.” CEO Choi emphasized, “POSCO will cooperate with the overall industry, the government, and investors to build clean energy infrastructure together.”
POSCO is reinforcing ESG management so that its management philosophy, “Corporate Citizenship: Building a Better Future Together,” can be settled in all fields. In January, POSCO became the first Korean company to establish an organization dedicated to ESG activities. An ESG organization was set up in the Corporate Citizenship Office directly under the CEO and is currently in charge of strengthening business competitiveness through ESG risk analysis and strategy planning.
As part of this strategy, POSCO has decided to transform its current operations into eco-friendly ones and not to pursue new projects that utilize coal, which doesn’t help reduce carbon emission. In addition, POSCO plans to expand low-carbon businesses such as secondary battery materials, hydrogen, and LNG, while internalizing climate change issues into the business strategy and risk management system at the group level. These changes demonstrate POSCO’s strong willingness to transform into a company that can survive in the era of low carbon society.
Meanwhile, POSCO, as a corporate citizen, goes beyond the role of a “corporate” to achieve carbon neutrality and is inducing small changes in daily lives with internal and external stakeholders. In this context, POSCO will carry out the “Reduce CO2, Save Tomorrow Project” from 2021 and promote the use of reusable tumblers made of STS material in-house so that all employees can participate in reducing CO2. All vehicles used within POSCO will also be replaced with eco-friendly automotive gradually. POSCO also plans to open a contest for an idea that can have a greater social impact on CO2 reduction activities through solidarity and collaboration.