Kia has announced that it aims to be a carbon-neutral company by 2045 at its virtual presentation called the Kia Sustainability Movement. This goes in line with the brand’s vision of becoming a sustainable mobility provider to benefit communities, consumers, and global society as a whole. The plan will have three key pillars: Sustainable Mobility, Sustainable Planet, and Sustainable Energy. This will help Kia reduce its carbon emissions by 97 percent in 2045 versus 2019. It will then take measures to offset the remaining carbon output.
“For us, it is not only about setting goals and reaching targets. It is about setting a vision that will inspire others to join the movement to benefit humanity and protect the environment,” said Hosung Song, President, and CEO of Kia. “In line with our vision of becoming a sustainable mobility solutions provider, we commit to achieving carbon neutrality by 2045.”
The biggest emissions producer for Kia is its vehicles being driven on the road. To cancel this out, the company is moving to a fully eco-friendly powertrain lineup, meaning it will only sell battery-electric vehicles. As a result, Kia’s Plan S strategy implementation will be accelerated to reach this goal. By 2035, Kia’s European vehicle lineup will be fully electrified and by 2040, many of the major markets where the brand has a significant presence will have a fully electrified lineup, reducing the brand’s carbon footprint.
Kia will work with suppliers to reduce carbon emissions. It will introduce a carbon emissions monitoring system in 2022 to help its partners find solutions based on the resulting data. The company also plans to use “green steel” or steel produced in an eco-friendly way and without extensive use of fossil fuels.
Kia will also start its “Blue Carbon” project to help preserve the environment and achieve its carbon neutrality target. The project will focus mainly on marine ecosystems, which are among the best absorbers of carbon mainly thanks to seaweed and mud flats. This will include restoring Korea’s coastal wetlands in collaboration with outside partners. Kia will also work with Korea’s Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries to discuss project opportunities. It will also take advantage of its home country’s extensive mud flats to increase the level of blue carbon.
One of the nonprofit organizations that Kia will work with is The Ocean Cleanup to help eliminate plastic waste in major bodies of water. This includes cleaning up existing plastic waste and preventing new ones from entering waterways. The Ocean Cleanup developed a so-called “interceptor” to keep new plastic waste from entering rivers. Kia will provide material support for building “interceptors” and will use the plastics gathered for vehicle production. The company intends to increase its utilization of reused plastic by 20 percent in 2030.
Kia aims to implement plastic recycling during the vehicle disposal stage to further increase the reuse of plastic and batteries. From 2022, Kia and its partners intend to perform pilot projects exploring second-life battery energy storage systems (SLBESS).
By 2045, Kia aims to achieve zero emissions across all parts of its business including vehicle manufacturing sites. This is part of the Hyundai Motor Group’s commitment to sustainability when it joined the RE100 initiative in July, which aims to transition to 100 percent renewable electricity. In sites outside of Korea, all electricity will be sustainably sourced from 2030 onward. Korean facilities will follow in 2040. Kia’s Slovakia manufacturing facility is the first to use 100 percent renewable electricity. To achieve this, Kia will transition to solar energy generation in production sites in Korea, the U.S., China, and India. Kia aims to cut its carbon emissions by one percent each year via carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) technology. All company vehicles will be electric by 2030.